IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Survival of the Fittest in Cities: Agglomeration, Selection and Polarisation

  • Kristian Behrens
  • Frédéric Robert-Nicoud

Empirical studies consistently report that labour productivity and TFP rise with city size. The reason is that cities attract the most productive agents, select the best of them, and make the selected ones even more productive via various agglomeration economies. This paper provides a microeconomically founded model of vertical city differentiation in which the latter two mechanisms (`agglomeration' and `selection') operate simultaneously. Our model is both rich and tractable enough to allow for a detailed investigation of when cities emerge, what determines their size, and how they interact through the channels of trade. We then uncover stylised facts and suggestive econometric evidence that are consistent with the most distinctive equilibrium features of our model. We show, in particular, that larger cities are both more productive and more unequal (`polarised'), that inter-city trade is associated with higher income inequalities, and that the proximity of large urban centres inhibits the development of nearby cities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0012.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0012.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0012
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Audretsch, David B. & Feldman, Maryann P., 2004. "Knowledge spillovers and the geography of innovation," 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 61, pages 2713-2739 Elsevier.
  2. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2003. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 478-497, August.
  5. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Working Papers dpuga-01-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & TABUCHI , Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1553, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1998. "Innovation in Cities: Science-Based Diversity, Specialization and Localized Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1980, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Diego Puga, 1996. "The rise and fall of regional inequalities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20643, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Baldwin, Richard E., 2001. "Core-periphery model with forward-looking expectations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-49, February.
  11. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg, 2009. "Labor Market Rigidities, Trade, and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. Lu�s M B Cabral & Jos� Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  14. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
  15. Ginsburgh, Victor & Papageorgiou, Yorgo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1985. "On existence and stability of spatial equilibria and steady-states," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-158, June.
  16. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," NBER Working Papers 10501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. MION, Giordano & NATICCHIONI, Paolo, 2006. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," CORE Discussion Papers 2006099, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  18. Lung-Fei Lee, 2004. "Asymptotic Distributions of Quasi-Maximum Likelihood Estimators for Spatial Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1899-1925, November.
  19. Tomoya Mori, 2006. "Monocentric Versus Polycentric Models in Urban Economics," KIER Working Papers 611, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  20. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 14478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. MURATA, Yasudada & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2005. "A simple model of economic geography à la Helpman-Tabuchi," CORE Discussion Papers 2005017, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  22. Mori, Tomoya & Turrini, Alessandro, 2005. "Skills, agglomeration and segmentation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 201-225, January.
  23. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga & Sebastien Roux, 2009. "The productivity advantages of large cities: Distinguishing agglomeration from firm selection," Working Papers tecipa-353, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  24. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  25. 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.
  26. Nord, Stephen, 1980. "Income Inequality and City Size: An Examination of Alternative Hypotheses for Large and Small Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 502-08, November.
  27. DEL GATTO, Massimo & MION, Giordano & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P., 2006. "Trade integration, firm selection and the costs of non-Europe," CORE Discussion Papers 2006061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  28. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Medium size cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 583-612, November.
  29. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  30. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M. & Wang, Ping, 1997. "Social Welfare and Income Inequality in a System of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 462-483, May.
  31. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  32. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. J. Vernon Henderson & Ari Kuncoro & Matthew Turner, 1992. "Industrial Development in Cities," NBER Working Papers 4178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Brueckner, J.K. & Thisse, J.-F. & Zenou, Y., 1996. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor ? An amenity-based theory," CORE Discussion Papers 1996065, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  35. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Raymond Owens, 2005. "Firm Fragmentation and Urban Patterns," Discussion Papers 04-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  36. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  37. Edward L. Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1901, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  38. Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996. "Trade policy and the Third World metropolis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
  39. Gilles Duranton, 2007. "Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 197-221, March.
  40. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  41. Rappaport, Jordan & Kahn, Matthew E. & Glaeser, Edward, 2008. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities? The Role of Public Transportation," Scholarly Articles 2958224, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  42. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Okubo, Toshihiro, 2009. "Trade liberalisation and agglomeration with firm heterogeneity: Forward and backward linkages," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 530-541, September.
  44. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
  45. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2002. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  46. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
  47. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  48. Sveikauskas, Leo A, 1975. "The Productivity of Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 393-413, August.
  49. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "Physicians' Services and the Division of Labor across Local Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 948-82, October.
  50. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  51. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "Urban Growth and Transportation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1407-1440.
  52. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  53. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Divergence of Human Capital Levels Across Cities," NBER Working Papers 11617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  55. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Yoshida, Atsushi, 2000. "Separating Urban Agglomeration Economies in Consumption and Production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 70-84, July.
  56. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Understanding International Price Differences Using Barcode Data," NBER Working Papers 14017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  57. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-François & Zeng, Dao-Zhi, 2002. "On the Number and Size of Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3386, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  58. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Dao-Zhi Zeng, 2004. "Stability of Spatial Equilibrium," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 641-660.
  59. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  60. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2008. "Agglomeration and Hours Worked," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 105-118, February.
  61. Long, James E & Rasmussen, David W & Haworth, Charles T, 1977. "Income Inequality and City Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(2), pages 244-46, May.
  62. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," 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 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  63. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  64. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0012. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.