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Agricultural surplus, division of labour and the emergence of cities, a spatial general equilibrium model


  • Gilles Spielvogel

    () (DIAL, IEP-Paris)


(english) In this paper, we expose the economic conditions of cities emergence in a spatial general equilibrium framework. The presence of increasing returns based on the division of labour, transport costs and the possible existence of an agricultural surplus are enough to generate different possible urban equilibrium. A city may not be sustainable if internal transport costs are too high. On the other hand, a persistent migratory pressure may exist between the city and the surrounding rural hinterland if the urban labour market is saturated. In addition, we study the conditions of stability of the monocentric equilibrium in the different cases. _________________________________ (français) Dans ce papier, nous exposons les conditions économiques d’émergence des villes dans le cadre d’un modèle d’équilibre général spatial. L’existence de rendements croissants basés sur la division du travail, de coûts de transport et la présence éventuelle d’un surplus agricole conduisent à différentes possibilités d’équilibre urbain. En raison de la contrainte de subsistance, il est possible qu’aucune ville ne soit soutenable si les coûts de transport internes sont trop élevés. D’un autre côté, la contrainte d’emploi urbain débouche sur la saturation de tout ou partie du marché du travail urbain et à la persistance d’une pression migratoire entre campagne et ville. Par ailleurs, nous étudions les conditions de stabilité du système urbain monocentrique dans les différents cas d’équilibre.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles Spielvogel, 2003. "Agricultural surplus, division of labour and the emergence of cities, a spatial general equilibrium model," Working Papers DT/2003/06, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200306

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    Urbanisation; division du travail; surplus agricole; système urbain monocentrique; Urbanization; division of labour; agricultural surplus; monocentric urban system.;

    JEL classification:

    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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