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On the location and ‘lock-in’ of cities : geography vs. transportation technology

  • BEHRENS, Kristian

We investigate where cities are located in a spatial economy and why they tend to get "locked-in" at particular sites. Building on Fujita and Krugman (1995) we show that geography and/or transportation technology must exhibit some "non-smoothness" for cities to possibly become "locked-in" in location space. Our results establish that no asymmetric monocentric equilibriumcan be generically sustained when space is homogenous and transportation technologies are "smooth", whereas it can in the presence of transportation hubs and/or concave transport cost functions. This suggests that cities are drawn to transportation hubs during the early stages of economic development, whereas they can be sustained almost everywhere during later stages.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2004044.

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Date of creation: 00 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2004044
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  1. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1998. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1903, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. BEHRENS, Kristian & LAMORGESE, Andrea R. & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P. & TABUCHI, Takatoshi, 2005. "Testing the ‘home market effect’ in a multi-country world," CORE Discussion Papers 2005055, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2004. "Micro-foundations of urban 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 48, pages 2063-2117 Elsevier.
  4. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Kristian Behrens & Andrea R. Lamorgese, 2004. "Testing the Home Market Effects in a Multi-country World: The Theory," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 595, Econometric Society.
  5. DEBREU, Gérard, . "Economies with a finite set of equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP 67, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "A Modeling of Megalopolis Formation: The Maturing of City Systems," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 133-157, July.
  7. Allen J. Scott, 2004. "A Perspective of Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(5), pages 479-499, November.
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