IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Survival of the fittest in cities: agglomeration, selection, and polarisation

  • Kristian Behrens
  • Frédéric Robert-Nicoud

Empirical studies consistently report that labour productivity and TFP rise with city size. The reason is that cities attract the most productive agents, select the best of them, and make the selected ones even more productive via various agglomeration economies. This paper provides a microeconomically founded model of vertical city differentiation in which the latter two mechanisms (`agglomeration' and `selection') operate simultaneously. Our model is both rich and tractable enough to allow for a detailed investigation of when cities emerge, what determines their size, and how they interact through the channels of trade. We then uncover stylised facts and suggestive econometric evidence that are consistent with the most distinctive equilibrium features of our model. We show, in particular, that larger cities are both more productive and more unequal (`polarised'), that inter-city trade is associated with higher income inequalities, and that the proximity of large urban centres inhibits the development of nearby cities.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28506/
File Function: Open access version.
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 28506.

as
in new window

Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28506
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Mion, Giordano & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2007. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," MPRA Paper 1721, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Yannis Menelaos Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2003. "Zipf’s law for cities : an empirical examination," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 583, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1891, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Ginsburgh, Victor & Papageorgiou, Yorgo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1985. "On existence and stability of spatial equilibria and steady-states," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-158, June.
  5. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2008. "Agglomeration and Hours Worked," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 105-118, February.
  6. M. Del Gatto & G. Mion & GIP. Ottaviano, 2007. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," Working Paper CRENoS 200703, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  7. Puga, Diego, 1999. "The rise and fall of regional inequalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 303-334, February.
  8. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Vigdor, Jacob L. & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," Scholarly Articles 2664275, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-François & Zeng, Dao-Zhi, 2002. "On the Number and Size of Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3386, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Tomoya Mori, 2006. "Monocentric Versus Polycentric Models in Urban Economics," KIER Working Papers 611, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Yasusada, MURATA & Jacques-François, THISSE, 2004. "A simple model of economic geography à la Helpman-Tabuchi," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005017, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques, revised 15 Feb 2005.
  13. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2004. "The empirics of agglomeration and trade," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 59, pages 2609-2669 Elsevier.
  14. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2001. "From Sectoral to Functional Urban Specialization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Okubo, Toshihiro, 2009. "Trade liberalisation and agglomeration with firm heterogeneity: Forward and backward linkages," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 530-541, September.
  17. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, 07.
  18. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
  19. Tomoya Mori & Alessandro Turrini, 2000. "Skills, Agglomeration and Segmentation," Development Working Papers 141, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  20. Lu�s M B Cabral & Jos� Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  21. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  22. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Raymond Owens III, 2005. "Firm Fragmentation and Urban Patterns," NBER Working Papers 11839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2007. "Urban growth and transportation," Working Papers tecipa-305, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  24. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  25. BRUECKNER, Jan K. & THISSE, Jacques-François & ZENOU, Yves, . "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor? An amenity-based theory," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  26. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  27. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  28. Audretsch, David B. & Feldman, Maryann P., 2004. "Knowledge spillovers and the geography of innovation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 61, pages 2713-2739 Elsevier.
  29. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  30. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  31. Rappaport, Jordan & Kahn, Matthew E. & Glaeser, Edward, 2008. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities? The Role of Public Transportation," Scholarly Articles 2958224, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  32. Raul Livas Elizondo & Paul Krugman, 1992. "Trade Policy and the Third World Metropolis," NBER Working Papers 4238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  34. Long, James E & Rasmussen, David W & Haworth, Charles T, 1977. "Income Inequality and City Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(2), pages 244-46, May.
  35. PierrePhilippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Diego Puga & Sébastien Roux, 2009. "The Productivity Advantages of Large Cities: Distinguishing Agglomeration from Firm Selection," SERC Discussion Papers 0027, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  36. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  37. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M. & Wang, Ping, 1997. "Social Welfare and Income Inequality in a System of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 462-483, May.
  38. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
  39. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  41. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Divergence of Human Capital Levels Across Cities," NBER Working Papers 11617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1998. "Innovation in Cities: Science-Based Diversity, Specialization and Localized Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1980, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  43. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  44. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Yoshida, Atsushi, 2000. "Separating Urban Agglomeration Economies in Consumption and Production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 70-84, July.
  45. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  46. Nord, Stephen, 1980. "Income Inequality and City Size: An Examination of Alternative Hypotheses for Large and Small Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 502-08, November.
  47. Baldwin, Richard E., 2001. "Core-periphery model with forward-looking expectations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-49, February.
  48. 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.
  49. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Understanding International Price Differences Using Barcode Data," NBER Working Papers 14017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Sveikauskas, Leo A, 1975. "The Productivity of Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 393-413, August.
  51. Gilles Duranton, 2007. "Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 197-221, March.
  52. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," NBER Working Papers 10501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  54. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "Physicians' Services and the Division of Labor across Local Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 948-82, October.
  55. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  56. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Dao-Zhi Zeng, 2004. "Stability of Spatial Equilibrium," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 641-660.
  57. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
  58. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  59. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 29 Sep 2005.
  60. Oleg Itskhoki & Elhanan Helpman, 2008. "Labor Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," 2008 Meeting Papers 690, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  61. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  62. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Medium size cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 583-612, November.
  63. 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.
  64. Lung-Fei Lee, 2004. "Asymptotic Distributions of Quasi-Maximum Likelihood Estimators for Spatial Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1899-1925, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28506. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.