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New economic geography: A guide to transport analysis

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  • Miren Lafourcade

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, UVHC - Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Jacques-François Thisse

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain)

Abstract

The paper surveys the main contributions of new economic geography from the point of view of transport analysis. It shows that decreasing transport costs is likely to exacerbate regional disparities. However, very low transport costs should foster a more balanced distribution for economic activities across space. Thus, the spatial curve of development, which relates the degree of spatial concentration to the level of transport costs, would be bell-shaped. The paper also provides a detailed discussion of the main determinants of transport costs, which remain fairly large in most countries. It concludes with a discussion of some policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Miren Lafourcade & Jacques-François Thisse, 2008. "New economic geography: A guide to transport analysis," Working Papers halshs-00586878, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00586878
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