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Step-by-step migration to efficient agglomerations

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  • Thomas J. Holmes

Abstract

Recent literature suggests that historical accidents can trap economies in inefficient equilibria. In a prototype model in the literature, there are two locations, the productive South and the unproductive North. By accident of history, the industry starts in the North. Because of agglomeration economies, the industry may reside in the North forever, an inefficient outcome. This paper modifies the standard model by assuming there is a continuum of locations between the North and the South. Productivity gradually increases as one moves South. There is a unique long-run equilibrium in this economy where all agents locate at the most productive locations.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Holmes, 1996. "Step-by-step migration to efficient agglomerations," Staff Report 221, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:221
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    5. Holmes, Thomas J., 1999. "How Industries Migrate When Agglomeration Economies Are Important," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 240-263, March.
    6. James E. Rauch, 1993. "Does History Matter Only When It Matters Little? The Case of City-Industry Location," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 843-867.
    7. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
    8. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    9. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    10. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995. "Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-226, April.
    11. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "The Seamless World: A Spatial Model of International Specialization," NBER Working Papers 5220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-1165, December.
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    Keywords

    Industrial location;

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