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A simple model of economic geography à la Helpman-Tabuchi

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  • MURATA, Yasudada
  • THISSE, Jacques-François

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • MURATA, Yasudada & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2005. "A simple model of economic geography à la Helpman-Tabuchi," CORE Discussion Papers 2005017, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2005017
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    File URL: https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/immaq/core/dp-2005.html
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life Cycle of Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1454-1477, December.
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    3. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-François Thisse, 2006. "Regional Specialization, Urban Hierarchy, And Commuting Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1295-1317, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    6. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
    7. Murata, Yasusada, 2003. "Product diversity, taste heterogeneity, and geographic distribution of economic activities:: market vs. non-market interactions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 126-144, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2004. "The Structure of Simple 'New Economic Geography' Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 4326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    commuting costs; urban costs; transportation costs; economic geography; agglomeration;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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