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Labor differentiation and agglomeration in general equilibrium

  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Zenou, Yves

The aim of this paper is to explore the structure of cities as a function of labor differentiation, gains to trade, a fixed cost for constructing the transportation network, a variable cost of commodity transport, and the commuting costs of consumers. Firms use different types of labor to produce different outputs. Locations of all agents are endogenous as are prices and quantities. This is among the first papers to apply smooth economy techniques to urban economics. Existence of equilibrium and its determinacy properties depend crucially on the relative numbers of outputs, types of labor and firms. More differentiated labor implies more equilibria. We provide tight lower bounds on labor differentiation for existence of equilibrium. If these sufficient conditions are satisfied, then generically there is a continuum of equilibria for given parameter values. Finally, an equilibrium allocation is not necessarily Pareto optimal in this model.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36207.

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Date of creation: 26 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36207
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  1. Kim, Sunwoong, 1989. "Labor Specialization and the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 692-705, June.
  2. Fujita, Masahisa, 1988. "A monopolistic competition model of spatial agglomeration : Differentiated product approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 87-124, February.
  3. Mas-Colell,Andreu, 1990. "The Theory of General Economic Equilibrium," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521388702.
  4. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "First Nature, Second Nature, and Metropolitan Location," NBER Working Papers 3740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
  6. Ellickson, Bryan, 1979. "Competitive equilibrium with local public goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 46-61, August.
  7. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
  8. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "The Division of Labor, Local Markets, and Worker Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 509-27, June.
  11. Papageorgiou, Yorgo Y & Smith, Terrence R, 1983. "Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1109-19, July.
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  13. Wang, Ping, 1990. "Competitive equilibrium formation of marketplaces with heterogeneous consumers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 295-304, November.
  14. Zenou,Yves, 2009. "Urban Labor Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521698221.
  15. Schweizer, Urs & Varaiya, Pravin & Hartwick, John, 1976. "General equilibrium and location theory," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 285-303, July.
  16. Grimaud, A. & Laffont, J. J., 1989. "Existence of a spatial equilibrium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 213-218, March.
  17. Marcus Berliant & Fan- chin Kung, 2004. "The Indeterminacy of Equilibrium City Formation under Monopolistic Competition and Increasing Returns," Urban/Regional 0407011, EconWPA, revised 29 Apr 2005.
  18. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  19. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M., 1990. "Agglomeration economies, types, and sizes of cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 25-45, January.
  20. Anderson, Simon P & Engers, Maxim, 1994. "Spatial Competition with Price-Taking Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 125-36, May.
  21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:3:p:925-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:619-52 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul, 1995. "When is the economy monocentric?: von Thunen and Chamberlin unified," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 505-528, August.
  24. Fujita,Masahisa, 1989. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521346627.
  25. Berliant, Marcus & Konishi, Hideo, 2000. "The endogenous formation of a city: population agglomeration and marketplaces in a location-specific production economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 289-324, May.
  26. Berliant, Marcus & Kung, Fan-chin, 2009. "Bifurcations in regional migration dynamics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 714-720, November.
  27. Abdel-Rahman, H. M., 1988. "Product differentiation, monopolistic competition and city size," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 69-86, February.
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  29. Krugman, Paul, 1993. "On the number and location of cities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 293-298, April.
  30. Berliant, M. & Fujita, M., 1990. "Alonso'S Discrete Population Model Of Land Use: Efficient Allocations And Competitive Equilibria," RCER Working Papers 217, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  31. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 1993. "Endogenous formation of a city without agglomerative externalities or market imperfections : Marketplaces in a regional economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 121-144, March.
  32. repec:oup:restud:v:53:y:1986:i:5:p:819-41 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Starrett, David, 1978. "Market allocations of location choice in a model with free mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 21-37, February.
  34. Berliant, Marcus & ten Raa, Thijs, 1994. "Regional science: The state of the art," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 631-647, October.
  35. Kim, Sunwoong, 1991. "Heterogeneity of labor markets and city size in an open spatial economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 109-126, May.
  36. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, July.
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