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A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration : Axiomatic Approach with an Application to Population and Capital Cities

  • Filipe R. Campante

    (SMU)

  • Quoc-Anh Do

We construct an axiomatic index of spatial concentration around a center or capital point of interest, a concept with wide applicability from urban economics, economic geography and trade, to political economy and industrial organization. We propose basic axioms (decomposability and monotonicity) and renement axioms (order preservation, convexity, and local monotonicity) for how the index should respond to changes in the underlying distribution. We obtain a unique class of functions satisfying all these properties, defined over any n-dimensional Euclidian space : the sum of a decreasing, isoelastic function of individual distances to the capital point of interest, with specifc boundaries for the elasticity coecient that depend on n. We apply our index to measure the concentration of population around capital cities across countries and US states, and also in US metropolitan areas. We show its advantages over alternative measures, and explore its correlations with many economic and political variables of interest.

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File URL: http://www.eaber.org/node/22059
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Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Development Economics Working Papers with number 22059.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:22059
Contact details of provider: Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
Web page: http://www.eaber.org

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Working Papers 46, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
  4. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Instability And The Incentives For Corruption," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 42-92, 03.
  5. Campante, Filipe & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2007. "Inequality, Redistribution, and Population," Working Paper Series rwp07-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Instability and the Incentives for Corruption," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/o45fqtltm96, Sciences Po.
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