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Labor Differentiation and Agglomeration in General Equilibrium

  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Zenou, Yves

The aim of this paper is to explore the structure of cities as a function of labor differentiation, gains to trade, a fixed cost for constructing the transportation network, a variable cost of commodity transport, and the commuting costs of consumers. Firms use different types of labor to produce different outputs. Locations of all agents are endogenous as are prices and quantities. This is among the first papers to apply smooth economy techniques to urban economics. Existence of equilibrium and its determinacy properties depend crucially on the relative numbers of outputs, types of labor and firms. More differentiated labor implies more equilibria. We provide tight lower bounds on labor differentiation for existence of equilibrium. If these sufficient conditions are satisfied, then generically there is a continuum of equilibria for given parameter values. Finally, an equilibrium allocation is not necessarily Pareto optimal in this model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8840.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8840
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  1. Jonathan H. Hamilton & W. Bentley MacLeod, 1987. "Spatial Competition and the Core," Working Papers 704, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Berliant, Marcus & Kung, Fan-chin, 2009. "Bifurcations in regional migration dynamics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 714-720, November.
  3. Benabou, Roland, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-52, August.
  4. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  5. Grimaud, A. & Laffont, J. J., 1989. "Existence of a spatial equilibrium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 213-218, March.
  6. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 1993. "Endogenous formation of a city without agglomerative externalities or market imperfections : Marketplaces in a regional economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 121-144, March.
  7. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul, 1995. "When is the economy monocentric?: von Thunen and Chamberlin unified," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 505-528, August.
  8. Abdel-Rahman, H. M., 1988. "Product differentiation, monopolistic competition and city size," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 69-86, February.
  9. Krugman, Paul, 1993. "On the number and location of cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 293-298, April.
  10. Fujita, Masahisa, 1988. "A monopolistic competition model of spatial agglomeration : Differentiated product approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 87-124, February.
  11. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "First Nature, Second Nature, and Metropolitan Location," NBER Working Papers 3740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kim, Sunwoong, 1989. "Labor Specialization and the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 692-705, June.
  13. Anderson, Simon P & Engers, Maxim, 1994. "Spatial Competition with Price-Taking Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 125-36, May.
  14. Schweizer, Urs & Varaiya, Pravin & Hartwick, John, 1976. "General equilibrium and location theory," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 285-303, July.
  15. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1986. "Spatial Competition with a Land Market: Hotelling and Von Thunen Unified," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 819-41, October.
  16. Marcus Berliant & Hideo Konishi, 2000. "The Endogenous Formation of a City: Population Agglomeration and Marketplaces in a Location-Specific Production Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 451, Boston College Department of Economics.
  17. Ellickson, Bryan, 1979. "Competitive equilibrium with local public goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 46-61, August.
  18. Berliant, Marcus & Fujita, Masahisa, 1992. "Alonso's Discrete Population Model of Land Use: Efficient Allocations and Competitive Equilibria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 535-66, August.
  19. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  20. Berliant, Marcus & Kung, Fan-chin, 2006. "The indeterminacy of equilibrium city formation under monopolistic competition and increasing returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 101-133, November.
  21. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M., 1990. "Agglomeration economies, types, and sizes of cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 25-45, January.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521265140 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
  24. Wang, Ping, 1990. "Competitive equilibrium formation of marketplaces with heterogeneous consumers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 295-304, November.
  25. Papageorgiou, Yorgo Y & Smith, Terrence R, 1983. "Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1109-19, July.
  26. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 339-378, December.
  27. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
  28. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  29. Tjalling C. Koopmans & Martin J. Beckmann, 1955. "Assignment Problems and the Location of Economic Activities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 4, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  32. Berliant, Marcus & ten Raa, Thijs, 1994. "Regional science: The state of the art," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 631-647, October.
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