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

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  • BEHRENS, Kristian

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • BEHRENS, Kristian, 2004. "On the location and ‘lock-in’ of cities : geography vs. transportation technology," CORE Discussion Papers 2004044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2004044
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. Koji Nishikimi & Ikuo Kuroiwa, 2011. "Analytical Framework for East Asian Integration (1): Industrial Agglomeration and Concentrated Dispersion," Chapters,in: The Economics of East Asian Integration, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Mori, Tomoya & Smith, Tony E., 2015. "On the spatial scale of industrial agglomerations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-20.
    3. Tsubota, Kenmei & Kawasaki, Yujiro, 2011. "Myopic or farsighted : bilateral trade agreements among three symmetric countries," IDE Discussion Papers 274, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    4. Behrens, Kristian & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2015. "Agglomeration Theory with Heterogeneous Agents," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Bosker, Maarten & Buringh, Eltjo, 2017. "City seeds: Geography and the origins of the European city system," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 139-157.
    6. TAKAHASHI, Takaaki, 2005. "Economic geography and endogenous determination of transportation technology," CORE Discussion Papers 2005014, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Lu, Ren & Ruan, Min & Reve, Torger, 2016. "Cluster and co-located cluster effects: An empirical study of six Chinese city regions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1984-1995.
    8. Sellars, Emily & Alix-Garcia, Jennifer, 2018. "Locational fundamentals, trade, and the changing urban landscape of Mexico," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274238, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. César Ducruet & Hidekazu Itoh & Olivier Joly, 2015. "Ports and the local embedding of commodity flows," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(3), pages 607-627, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transport hubs; transport costs; economic geography; location theory; smoothness;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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