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Regional inequality and product variety

  • BEHRENS, Kristian
  • THISSE, Jacques-François

We investigate how differences in set-up costs of various types affect the trade-off between global effciency and spatial equity and show that the standard assumption of symmetry in fixed costs masks the existence of an interesting effect: the range of available varieties varies depends on the spatial distribution of firms. In such a setting, even when the market outcome leads to excessive agglomeration under symmetric fixed costs, a planner opts for asymmetric fixed costs and more agglomeration. The reason is that the losses induced by more agglomeration are offset by the gains due to additional product variety.

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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 2005009.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2005009
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  1. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Shleifer, Andrei & Lopez de Silanes, Florencio, 2001. "The regulation of entry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2661, The World Bank.
  2. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2003. "Agglomeration and economic geography," CORE Discussion Papers 2003016, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Baldwin, Richard & Martin, Philippe, 2003. "Agglomeration and Regional Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Integration, Agglomeration and the Political Economics of Factor Mobility," Economics Working Papers eco99/27, European University Institute.
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  7. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2005. "Market size and tax competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 25-46, September.
  8. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Non-Europe : the magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla99004a, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  9. Paul Krugman, 1992. "Geography and Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610868, June.
  10. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & John Ries, 2002. "On the pervasiveness of home market effects," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  11. Jonathan Haskel & Holger C. Wolf, 2001. "The Law of One Price - A Case Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 428, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. 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.
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