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On the Emergence of Cities

  • Scott E. Page
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    This paper contains a description of a general class of city formation models. Individual economic agents have preferences for locations that depend on the population distribution. A location's attractiveness depends upon some combination of its population and its average distance to other agents. Economic variables enter indirectly. Taking this broad perspective leads to a deeper understanding of how cities form as well as of the sensitivity to intitial conditions of their locations and sizes. In addition, this class of models supports scenarios where cities emerge: without any assumptions that agents wish to live near or with one another, agents cluster into cities. To appear in: Journal of Urban Economics.

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    Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Research in Economics with number 98-08-075e.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:safire:98-08-075e
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    Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html

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    1. 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.
    2. THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Oligopoly and the polarization of space," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1042, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
    4. Marcus Berliant & Hideo Konishi, 2000. "The Endogenous Formation of a City: Population Agglomeration and Marketplaces in a Location-Specific Production Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 451, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Page, Scott E, 1997. "On Incentives and Updating in Agent Based Models," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 10(1), pages 67-87, February.
    6. O'Hara, Donald J, 1977. "Location of Firms within a Square Central Business District," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1189-1207, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
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