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Market Access, Regional Price Level and Wage Disparities: The German Case


  • Reinhold Kosfeld

    () (University of Kassel)

  • Hans-Friedrich Eckey

    () (University of Kassel)


In this paper we use the NEG framework of the Helpman model to investigate the spatial distribution of wages across German labour market regions under different assumptions. As the assumptions of equal regional price level and equal real wages are strongly rejected for the German economy, standard approaches may fail to reveal the role of market access in explaining regional wage disparities. In part substantial changes occur when market potential is measured with the aid of regional price levels. With the so-called price index approach, the importance of market access in explaining regional wage differentials is clearly revealed. When controlling for heterogeneity of labour force and spatial dependence, the relationship still remains highly significant. From the price index approach, limited demand linkages of reasonable reach are inferred.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinhold Kosfeld & Hans-Friedrich Eckey, 2008. "Market Access, Regional Price Level and Wage Disparities: The German Case," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200814, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:200814

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2006. "Market Access Impact on Individual Wage: Evidence from China," Working Papers 2006-23, CEPII research center.
    2. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
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    4. López-Rodríguez , Jesús & Faíña, Andrés, 2007. "Regional Wage Disparities in Europe: What role for Market Access?," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 11, pages 5-23.
    5. De Bruyne, Karolien, 2009. "Explaining the Location of Economic Activity. Is there a Spatial Employment Structure in Belgium?," Working Papers 2009/28, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
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    7. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Market Access and Individual Wages: Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 145-159, February.
    8. Mion, Giordano, 2004. "Spatial externalities and empirical analysis: the case of Italy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 97-118, July.
    9. Hans-Friedrich Eckey & Reinhold Kosfeld & Nina Muraro, 2009. "Auswirkungen der Bevölkerungsentwicklung auf das wirtschaftliche Niveau der Regionen in Deutschland," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200901, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
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    16. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2007. "Economic Geography, Spatial Dependence and Income Inequality in China," Working Papers 2007-22, CEPII research center.
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    18. Michael Roos, "undated". "Wages and Market Potential in Germany," Discussion Papers in Economics 00_09, University of Dortmund, Department of Economics.
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    21. Reinhold Kosfeld & Hans-Friedrich Eckey & Jorgen Lauridsen, 2008. "Disparities in Prices and Income across German NUTS 3 Regions," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 54(2), pages 123-141.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrzej Cieślik & Bartłomiej Rokicki, 2016. "European Integration and Spatial Wage Structure in Poland," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 107(4), pages 435-453, September.
    2. repec:spr:anresc:v:58:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0813-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Burhan Can Karahasan & Fatma Dogruel & Ali Suut Dogruel, 2016. "Can Market Potential Explain Regional Disparities in Developing Countries? Evidence from Turkey," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 54(2), pages 162-197, June.
    4. Burhan Can Karahasan, 2014. "The Spatial Distribution Of New Firms:Can Peripheral Areas Escape From The Curse Of Remoteness?," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 1-28, DECEMBER.
    5. Ouyang, Puman & Zhang, Teng & Dong, Yan, 2015. "Market potential, firm exports and profit: Which market do the Chinese firms profit from?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 94-108.
    6. Enrique López-Bazo & Burhan Can Karahasan, 2011. "The Spatial Distribution of Human Capital: Can It Really Be Explained by Regional Differences in Market Access?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1122, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Philipp Ehrl, 2014. "A breakdown of residual wage inequality in Germany," Working Papers 150, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    8. Riccardo Massari & M. Grazia Pittau & Roberto Zelli, 2010. "Does regional cost-of-living reshuffle Italian income distribution?," Working Papers 166, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    9. Fernando Bruna, 2015. "Why do empirical tests tend to accept the NEG? An alternative approach to the 'wage equation' in European regions," Working Papers 15-11, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
    10. Ulrich Zierahn, 2012. "The effect of market access on the labor market: Evidence from German reunification," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201239, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item


    New Economic Geography; market access; wage disparities; regional price levels;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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