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The Effect of Information and Communication Technologies on Urban Structure

  • Y Ioannides
  • Henry Overman
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

The geographic concentration of economic activity occurs because transport costs for goods, people and ideas give individuals and organisations incentives to locate close to each other. Historically, all of these costs have been falling. Such changes could lead us to predict the death of distance. This paper is concerned with one aspect of this prediction: the impact that less costly communication and transmission of information might have on cities and the urban structure. We develop a model which suggests that improvements in ICT will increase the dispersion of economic activity across cities making city sizes more uniform. We test this prediction using cross country data and find empirical support for this conclusion.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0812.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0812
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
  2. Martin, Philippe, 1998. "Public Policies, Regional Inequalities and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L.J. Wright, 2005. "Urban Structure and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kwok Tong Soo, 2004. "Zipfs Law for Cities: A Cross Country Investigation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0641, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Medium size cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 583-612, November.
  6. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  7. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2006. "Log(Rank-1/2): A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2106, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
  10. Richard Baldwin & Rikard Forslid & Philippe Martin & Gianmarco Ottaviano & Frederic Robert Nicoud, 2003. "Economic Geography and Public Policy," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00179815, HAL.
  11. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  12. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
  13. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
  14. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
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