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Changes in the intra-metropolitan location of producer services in Ile-De-France (1978-1997): do information technologies promote a more dispersed spatial pattern

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    (LATEC - CNRS UMR 5118 - MSH - Université de Bourgogne)

  • GUILLAIN, Rachel

    (LATEC - CNRS UMR 5118 - MSH - Université de Bourgogne)

Because of their intensive need for face-to-face contacts, producer services have, historically, been found at the core of CBDs. However, it has been suggested that advances in information technologies could lead to the erosion of the CBD's economic base, rendering face-to-face contacts obsolete and enabling producer services to suburbanize. Although a considerable amount of empirical work has been done on the suburbanization of these activities in North-America, the same is not true of France. In this paper, we adopt an original methodology to study the role played by face-to-face contacts in the spatial distribution of producer services in the Ile-de-France region between 1978 and 1997. Our findings confirm that producer services did indeed suburbanize during the study period. Nevertheless, this suburbanization was multicentric, rather than scattered, suggesting that face-to-face contacts remain an important factor in the location of such services. / Une raison traditionnellement avancée pour expliquer la localisation des services aux producteurs dans les CBD est leur fort besoin de contacts face à face. Néanmoins, ce pouvoir d'agglomération des contacts face à face pourrait être remis en cause par l'essor des technologies de la communication ce qui conduirait à une répartition plus uniforme de ces activités. Les centres villes ne seraient plus alors l'espace privilégié de localisation de ces activités et perdraient leur pouvoir d'organisation sur l'aire métropolitaine. Bien que le processus de suburbanisation ait fait l'objet de nombreuses études empiriques, ces dernières restent, à notre connaissance, peu nombreuses en France. Dans ce papier, nous proposons une méthode originale pour étudier le rôle des contacts face à face dans les choix de localisation des services aux producteurs dans la région Ile-de-France entre 1978 et 1997. Nos résultats confirment que les services aux producteurs ont effectivement connu une vague de suburbanisation mais que cette dernière conduit à la formation de nouvelles polarités plutôt qu'à leur dispersion au sein de l'aire métropolitaine. Ceci suggère, qu'en dépit des progrès dans les technologies de la communication, les contacts face à face restent un facteur important de localisation pour ces services.

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Paper provided by LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne in its series LEG - Document de travail - Economie with number 2003-06.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Handle: RePEc:lat:legeco:2003-06
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  1. Alex Anas & Richard Arnott & Kenneth A. Small, 1998. "Urban Spatial Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1426-1464, September.
  2. Giuliano, Genevieve & Small, Kenneth A., 1991. "Subcenters in the Los Angeles region," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 163-182, July.
  3. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
  4. R Cervero & K-L Wu, 1997. "Polycentrism, Commuting, and Residential Location in the San Francisco Bay Area," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 29(5), pages 865-886, May.
  5. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1993. "The Economics of Rumours," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 309-327.
  6. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1998. "Suburban Subcenters and Employment Density in Metropolitan Chicago," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 157-180, March.
  7. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
  8. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
  9. Nathan B. Anderson & William T. Bogart, 2001. "The Structure of Sprawl: Identifying and Characterizing Employment Centers in Polycentric Metropolitan Areas," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 147-169, January.
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