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A simple model of economic geography à la Helpman-Tabuchi

  • MURATA, Yasudada
  • THISSE, Jacques-François

This paper explores the interplay between commodities’ transportation costs and workers’ commuting costs within a general equilibrium framework `a la Dixit-Stiglitz. Workers are mobile and choose a region where to work as well as an intraurban location where to live. We show that a more integrated economy need not be more agglomerated. Instead, low transportation costs lead to the dispersion of economic activities. This is because workers are able to alleviate the burden of urban costs by being dispersed, while retaining a good access to all varieties. By contrast, low commuting costs foster the agglomeration of economic activities.

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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 2005017.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2005017
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  1. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Tissse, 1999. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-65, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2004. "The Structure of Simple 'New Economic Geography' Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 4326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery cities: urban diversity, process innovation and the life-cycle of products," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20204, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Alex Anas, 2004. "Vanishing cities: what does the new economic geography imply about the efficiency of urbanization?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 181-199, April.
  5. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2003. "Regional Specialization, Urban Hierarchy, and Commuting Costs," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-223, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  6. Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 1998. "Urban Agglomeration and Dispersion: A Synthesis of Alonso and Krugman," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 333-351, November.
  7. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  9. Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996. "Trade policy and the Third World metropolis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
  10. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2004. "The 'Genome' of NEG Models with Vertical Linkages: A Positive and Normative Synthesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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