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From Periphery to Core: Measuring Agglomeration Effects Using High-Speed Rail

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Listed:
  • Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt
  • Arne Feddersen

Abstract

We analyze the economic impact of the German high-speed rail (HSR) connecting Cologne and Frankfurt, which provides plausibly exogenous variation in access to surrounding economic mass. We find a causal effect of about 8.5% on average of the HSR on the GDP of three counties with intermediate stops. We make further use of the variation in bilateral transport costs between all counties in our study area induced by the HSR to identify the strength and spatial scope of agglomeration forces. Our most careful estimate points to an elasticity of output with respect to market potential of 12.5%. The strength of the spillover declines by 50% ever 30 minutes of travel time, diminishing to 1% after about 200 minutes. Our results further imply an elasticity of per-worker output with respect to economic density of 3.8%, although the effects seem driven by worker and firm selection.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Arne Feddersen, 2015. "From Periphery to Core: Measuring Agglomeration Effects Using High-Speed Rail," SERC Discussion Papers 0172, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0172
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Wendland, Nicolai, 2016. "The spatial decay in commuting probabilities: Employment potential vs. commuting gravity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 125-129.
    2. 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.
    3. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Wendland, Nicolai, 2016. "The spatial decay in commuting probabilities: employment potential vs. community gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66128, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Accessibility; agglomeration; high-speed rail; market potential; transport policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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