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Drivers of Agglomeration: geography VS. History

  • Goerlich, Francisco José
  • Mas, Matilde

This paper focuses on the influence of two classical drivers of population agglomeration: geography and history. Geography is identified by two co-ordinates: coastal position and altitude. The prominence of history is also captured by two characteristics: the initial size of the municipalities, and their status as the administrative centre of the area. In first instance we examine localization patterns, at a small geographical scale, according to these characteristics and present empirical evidence of the progressive population concentration along the coast, on the plains and in the regional (provincial) capitals; a process that has not finished in the present days. Next, we show that both drivers of population agglomeration, geography and history, are relevant for Spain and that they show an increasing explanatory power in accounting for population concentration. From a quantitative point of view the capital status factor shows the most prominent role. An exercise of conditional convergence shows that, even in the absence of these factors, we would have seen a significant amount of population concentration but at a smaller rate. Our reference is the census population data for Spanish municipalities for the period 1900-2001. Given the important changes in municipality structure, the eleven censuses have been homogenised according to the municipal structure of the 2001 Census.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15802/1/MPRA_paper_15802.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15802.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision: 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15802
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  1. Yannis Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2000. "Spatial evolution of the US urban system," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20138, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Luis Lanaspa & Fernando Pueyo & Fernando Sanz, 2002. "Evolution of the Spanish Urban Structure During the Twentieth Century," Documentos de Trabajo dt2002-01, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1995. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," NBER Working Papers 5013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  6. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  7. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from France and Japan," NBER Working Papers 4612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. María Ayuda & Fernando Collantes & Vicente Pinilla, 2010. "Long-run regional population disparities in Europe during modern economic growth: a case study of Spain," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 273-295, April.
  9. Goerlich, Francisco José & Mas, Matilde, 2008. "Pautas de localización de la población a lo largo del siglo XX
    [Population localization patterns along the XX century]
    ," MPRA Paper 15824, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
  10. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
  11. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. " The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
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