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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

The geographic concentration of economic activity occurs because transport costs for goods, people and ideas give individuals and organisations incentives to locate close to each other. Historically, all of these costs have been falling. Such changes could lead us to predict the death of distance. This paper is concerned with one aspect of this prediction: the impact that less costly communication and transmission of information might have on cities and the urban structure. We develop a model which suggests that improvements in ICT will increase the dispersion of economic activity across cities making city sizes more uniform. We test this prediction using cross country data and find empirical support for this conclusion.

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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. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2003. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Staff Reports 169, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L.J. Wright, 2005. "Urban Structure and Growth," NBER Working Papers 11262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Martin, Philippe, 1999. "Public policies, regional inequalities and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 85-105, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Medium size cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 583-612, November.
  8. Ades, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227, February.
  9. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  10. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
  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. 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.
  13. Kwok Tong Soo, 2004. "Zipf's law for cities: a cross country investigation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19947, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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