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Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Spatial Selection and Sorting

  • Richard Baldwin
  • Toshihiro Okubo

A Melitz-style model of monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms is integrated into a simple New Economic Geography model to show that the standard assumption of identical firms is neither necessary nor innocuous. We show that re-locating to the big region is most attractive for the most productive firms; this implies interesting results for empirical work and policy analysis. A 'selection effect' means standard empirical measures overestimate agglomeration economies. A 'sorting effect' means that a regional policy induces the highest productivity firms to move to the core while the lowest productivity firms to move to the periphery. We also show that heterogeneity dampens the home market effect.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11650.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11650.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Publication status: published as Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 323-346, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11650
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  1. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Amiti, Mary & Pissarides, Christopher, 2002. "Trade and Industrial Location with Heterogenous Labour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Lu�s M B Cabral & Jos� Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  5. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 339-378, December.
  6. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1994. "Industrial Location and Public Infrastructure," CEPR Discussion Papers 909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Working Paper Series WP03-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  8. Anthony J. Venables, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0137, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. 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).
  10. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2001. "Taste Heterogeneity, Labour Mobility and Economic Geography," CEPR Discussion Papers 3114, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  13. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
  14. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  15. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  17. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  18. Nicola D. Coniglio, 2002. "Regional Intergration and Migration: An Economic Geography Model with Hetergenous Labour Force," Working Papers 2003_1, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  19. Dupont, Vincent & Martin, Philippe, 2003. "Subsidies to Poor Regions and Inequalities: Some Unpleasant Arithmetic," CEPR Discussion Papers 4107, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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