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

Author

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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Garcia-López, Miquel-Àngel & Pasidis, Ilias & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2018. "Amphitheaters, cathedrals and operas: The role of historic amenities on suburbanization," CEPR Discussion Papers 13129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2019. "The economic effects of density: A synthesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 93-107.
    3. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Roth, Duncan & Seidel, Tobias, 2018. "The regional effects of Germany’s national minimum wage," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 127-130.
    4. Gabriel M. Ahfeldt & Elisabetta Pietrostefani, 2017. "The Compact City in Empirical Research: A Quantitative Literature Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0215, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    5. repec:wfo:wstudy:60468 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:jotrge:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:174-183 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Braun, Sebastian Till & Franke, Richard, 2019. "Railways, Growth, and Industrialisation in a Developing German Economy, 1829-1910," MPRA Paper 93644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Fingleton, Bernard & Szumilo, Nikodem, 2019. "Simulating the impact of transport infrastructure investment on wages: A dynamic spatial panel model approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 148-164.
    9. Ahfeldt, Gabriel M. & Pietrostefani, Elisabetta, 2017. "The compact city in empirical research: A quantitative literature review," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 83638, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:95-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Moez Kilani & André de Palma & Stef Proost, 2016. "Are users better-off with new transit lines?," Working Papers hal-01282877, HAL.
    12. Eduard Alvarez & Mario Holzner & Stefan Jestl & Jordi Marti-Henneberg, 2016. "Introducing Railway Time in the Balkans: Economic effects of railway construction in Southeast Europe and beyond since the early 19th century until present days," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 121, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    13. Holtemöller, Oliver & Schult, Christoph, 2019. "Stellungnahme zum "Strukturstärkungsgesetz Kohleregionen" anlässlich der Anhörung im Ausschuss für Wirtschaft und Energie des Deutschen Bundestages am 15. Mai 2019," IWH Online 2/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    14. Proost, Stef & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2015. "Skilled Cities, Regional Disparities, and Efficient Transport: The state of the art and a research agenda," CEPR Discussion Papers 10790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Kilani, Moez & de Palma, André & Proost, Stef, 2017. "Are users better-off with new transit lines?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 95-105.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Accessibility; agglomeration; high-speed rail; market potential; transport policy;

    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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