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The Empirical Relevance of the New Economic Geography: Testing for a Spatial Wage Structure in Germany

  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Marc Schramm

In this paper we want to shed some light on the empirical relevance of the new economic geography. Using one of the central features of the core new economic geography models, namely that wages have the tendency to fall the further one moves away from centres of economic activity, we investigate the existence of a spatial wage structure for post-unification Germany. We find support for a spatial wage structure for German city-district wages, and hence indirectly for the relevance of a new economic geography model for Germany. We also find that demand linkages in Germany are strongly localised and that the “old” border still matters to the extent that economic interactions between western and eastern Germany are still limited compared to the situation within these two parts of Germany.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 395.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_395
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  1. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
  2. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1996. "Does Economic Geography Matter for International Specialization?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1773, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "First Nature, Second Nature, and Metropolitan Location," NBER Working Papers 3740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 311-316, May.
  8. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. Vernon Henderson & Duncan Black, 1999. "Spatial Evolution of Population and Industry in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 321-327, May.
  10. Hanson, Gordon H, 1997. "Increasing Returns, Trade and the Regional Structure of Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 113-33, January.
  11. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  12. Deardoff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Working Papers 382, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  13. 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.
  14. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  15. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry, 1993. "The Relevance of Initial Conditions for the German Unification," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 163-81.
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