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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. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  2. 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.
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  4. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. TABUCHI, Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Taste heterogeneity, labor mobility and economic geography," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1570, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
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  13. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Industrial location and public infrastructure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 335-351, November.
  14. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  15. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars & Stephen J. Trejo, 1992. "Self-Selection and Internal Migration in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. 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.
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