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The Effect of Information and Communication Technologies on Urban Structure

  • Yannis M. Ioannides
  • Henry G. Overman
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Two innovations in the last century have changed dramatically the cost of communicating and transmitting information: The first is the widespread adoption of telephony; the second is the internet. We study the implications of these changes in ICT for urban structure. We find robust evidence that increases in the number of telephone lines per capita lead to a more concentrated distribution of city sizes and so correspondingly to more dispersion in the distribution of economic activity in space. The evidence on internet usage is more speculative, although it goes in the same direction. This empirical result is rationalized in a theoretical model.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2007/ioannidesEffect.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0708.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0708
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  1. Mark Wright & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Urban Structure and Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 33, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Martin, Philippe, 1998. "Public Policies, Regional Inequalities and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  9. Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
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  11. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
  12. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Medium size cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 583-612, November.
  13. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2006. "Log(Rank-1/2): A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2106, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Richard Baldwin & Rikard Forslid & Philippe Martin & Gianmarco Ottaviano & Frederic Robert Nicoud, 2003. "Economic Geography and Public Policy," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00179815, HAL.
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