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Is Agglomeration really Good for Growth? Global Efficiency, Interregional Equity and Uneven Growth

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  • Fabio Cerina
  • Francesco Mureddu

Abstract

According to the New Economic Geography and Growth (NEGG) literature (Baldwin et al. (2004)), spatial concentration of industrial activities increases growth at the regional and aggregate level without generating regional growth differentials. This view is not supported by the data. We extend the canonical model with an additional sector producing non-tradable goods which benefits from localized knowledge spillovers coming from R&D performing industrial sector. This departure, motivated by the evidence, introduces an anti-growth effect of agglomeration for both the deindustrializing and the industrializing regions and leads to two novel results: 1) when agglomeration takes place, growth is lower in the periphery; 2) agglomeration may have a negative effect on the growth rate of real income, both at the regional and at the aggregate level. In particular, the economy as a whole might suffer a dynamic loss from agglomeration when: 1) the spatial range of the technological spillovers within the R&D sector; 2) the external benefit of local and foreign knowledge capital on non-tradable sector productivity; 3) the expenditure share on non-tradable goods are all large enough. These results are consistent with the empirical evidence reporting regional real income divergence and according to which the trade-off between aggregate growth and interregional equity loses relevance in more advanced stages of development. Our conclusions have relevant policy implications as they suggest that, contrary to the standard view, current EU and US regional policies favouring industrial dispersion might be welfare-improving both at the regional and the aggregate level and may reduce regional income disparities.

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  • Fabio Cerina & Francesco Mureddu, 2010. "Is Agglomeration really Good for Growth? Global Efficiency, Interregional Equity and Uneven Growth," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_022
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    2. Fabio Cerina & Francesco Mureddu, 2013. "Structural Change and Growth in a NEG Model," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 182-200, May.
    3. Cazzuffi, Chiara & Pereira-López, Mariana & Soloaga, Isidro, 2017. "Local poverty reduction in Chile and Mexico: The role of food manufacturing growth," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 160-185.
    4. Triki, Mohamed Bilel, 2019. "The Italian wage curve revisited: A local and spatial cointegration," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 55, pages 73-90.
    5. Vasco Leite & Sofia Castro & João Correia-da-Silva, 2013. "A third sector in the core-periphery model: non-tradable goods," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 50(1), pages 71-108, February.
    6. Kümpel, Arndt, 2011. "Устойчивое региональное развитие, инновации и государствeнный потенциал [Sustainable regional development, innovation and state capacity]," MPRA Paper 33967, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2011.
    7. Marko Danon, 2014. "Constructing a Novel Competitiveness Index for European Regions," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-42, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    8. Wei Han & Ying Zhang & Jianming Cai & Enpu Ma, 2019. "Does Urban Industrial Agglomeration Lead to the Improvement of Land Use Efficiency in China? An Empirical Study from a Spatial Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(4), pages 1-22, February.
    9. Priscila MÉNDEZ & Sheila GUARNIZO & Rafael ALVARADO, 2019. "Nexo Causal Entre La Urbanización Y La Producción Regional: Evidencia Para Ecuador Usando Vi En Econometría Espacial," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 19(1), pages 63-76.
    10. Kümpel, Arndt, 2011. "Sustainable regional development, innovation and state capacity," MPRA Paper 33966, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2011.
    11. Wu, Rongxin & Lin, Boqiang, 2021. "Does industrial agglomeration improve effective energy service: An empirical study of China’s iron and steel industry," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 295(C).
    12. Berdegué, Julio A. & Escobal, Javier & Bebbington, Anthony, 2015. "Explaining Spatial Diversity in Latin American Rural Development: Structures, Institutions, and Coalitions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 129-137.
    13. Huang, Qiong & Chand, Satish, 2015. "Spatial spillovers of regional wages: Evidence from Chinese provinces," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 97-109.
    14. Wei, Wei & Zhang, Wan-Li & Wen, Jun & Wang, Jun-Sheng, 2020. "TFP growth in Chinese cities: The role of factor-intensity and industrial agglomeration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 534-549.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aggregate real growth; regional real growth; interregional equity; non-tradables; localized knowledge spillovers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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