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Population distribution, effective area and economic growth


  • Régis Chenavaz

    (LTCI - Laboratoire Traitement et Communication de l'Information - Télécom ParisTech - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • Octavio Escobar

    () (School of Business - Adelphi University)


The usual measure for the factor land is the total area. But total area is a flawed measure because land is of unequal quality. To account for land quality, we use an alternative measure called effective area . Effective area is based on spatial population distribution which captures both natural conditions and human activity. Theoretically, effective area explains economic growth better than total area that biases the measure of total factor productivity (TFP) growth. Empirically on the basis of 40 years of panel data for the United States, an increase of 10% in effective area is associated with an economic growth of 5%, and the omission of effective area undervalues the growth of TFP by 8.1%.

Suggested Citation

  • Régis Chenavaz & Octavio Escobar, 2015. "Population distribution, effective area and economic growth," Post-Print hal-01457308, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01457308
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2015.1058907
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertinelli, Luisito & Black, Duncan, 2004. "Urbanization and growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 80-96, July.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
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    6. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, Bombs, and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1269-1289, December.
    7. Yener Altunbaş & Edward Jones & John Thornton, 2013. "Knowledge spillovers and the growth of British cities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 162-166, February.
    8. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    Economie quantitative;


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