IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Emergence and Evolution of Heterogeneous Spatial Patterns


  • Yuri Yegorov



We live in a quite heterogeneous space. There are cities and rural areas, and population density varies a lot across space. People migrate and commute to the places of their work. The goal of this article is to clarify the mechanism of commuting as an equilibrium in heterogeneous space with different technologies. It is well known that agricultural production requires substantial amount of land per unit of labour, while most industrial production and services require much lower land input. We assume that all industrial production and service sector is located in urban areas, while all agriculture is in rural area. Historically, the share of labour in agriculture was declining due to more rapid growth of productivity there in comparison to service sector. At the same time, people change the location of their residence much slower. That is why at some point in time we face the situation, when rural area has excessive labour (not enough work for all in agriculture), while urban areas create an increasing number of jobs. A relatively simple mathematical model is proposed to explain the emergence of spatial pattern with heterogeneous density and phase transition between urban and rural areas. There are three types of agents: workers who live in a city, farmers who live in a rural area and workers-commuters from rural area to a city. In an equilibrium they are indifferent between occupation and residence. An indifference across locations for a priori identical agents implies the shape of land rent. If some parameters of the model change, they imply the change of the whole spatial pattern. In particular, split of rural residents into commuters and farmers depends on road infrastructure development through transport cost. Two types of shocks (decline in commuting transport cost by construction of fast roads and the relative decline in agricultural price) can perturb agricultural zone. Some former farmers start commuting to city while keeping residence in rural area. This is how a functional area of a city with integrated labour market emerges.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuri Yegorov, 2006. "Emergence and Evolution of Heterogeneous Spatial Patterns," ERSA conference papers ersa06p690, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p690

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beckmann, Martin J. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1987. "The location of production activities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: P. Nijkamp (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 21-95 Elsevier.
    2. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-656, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Fujita,Masahisa, 1991. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521396455.
    5. Kander, Astrid, 2005. "Baumol's disease and dematerialization of the economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 119-130, October.
    6. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2005. "Properties of Equivalence Scales in Different Countries," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 19-27, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yuri Yegorov, 2011. "Potential and Spatial Structure of Population," ERSA conference papers ersa11p110, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Yegorov, Yuri, 2016. "Population Structures in Russia: Optimality and Dependence on Parameters of Global Evolution," REGION, European Regional Science Association, vol. 3, pages 89-106.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p690. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.