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New Economic Geography meets Comecon: Regional Wages and Industry Location in Central Europe

  • Marius Brülhart
  • Pamina Koenig

We analyze the internal spatial wage and employment structures of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia, using regional data for 1996-2000. A new economic geography model predicts wage gradients and specialization patterns that are smoothly related to regions' relative market access. As an alternative, we formulate a "Comecon hypothesis", according to which wages and sectoral location are not systematically related to market access except for discrete concentrations in capital regions. Our estimations confirm the ongoing relevance of the Comecon hypothesis: compared to pre-2004 EU members, Central European countries' average wages and service employment were still discretely higher in capital regions. Our results point towards an increase in relative wages and employment shares of Central Europe's provincial regions, favoring particularly those that are proximate to the large markets of incumbent EU members.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 05.01.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economics of Transition, vol. 14 (2), April 2006, pp.245-267
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:05.01
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne

Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. 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).
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