We provide a bare-bones framework that uncovers the circumstances which lead either to the emergence of equally-spaced and equally-sized central places or to a hierarchy of central places. We show how these patterns reect the preferences of agents and the e¢ ciency of trans- portation and communication technologies. With one population of homogeneous individuals, the economy is characterized by a uniform distribution or by a periodic distribution of central places having the same size. The interaction between two distinct populations may give rise to a hierarchy of central places with one or several primate cities
We study how technological progress in manufacturing and transportation to-gether with migration costs interact to shape the space-economy. Rising labor productivity in the manufacturing sector fosters the agglomeration of activities, whereas falling transport costs associated with technological and organizational in-novations fosters their dispersion. Since these two forces have been at work for a long time, the final outcome must depend on how drops in the costs of producing and trading goods interact with the various costs borne by migrants. Finally, when labor is heterogeneous, the most efficient workers of the less productive region are the first to move to the more productive region.
We investigate the impact of land use regulation on housing vacancy rates. Using a 30-year panel dataset on land use regulation for 350 English Local Authorities (LAs) and addressing potential reverse causation and other endogeneity concerns, we find that tighter local planning constraints increase local housing vacancy rates: a one standard deviation increase in restrictiveness causes the local vacancy rate to increase by 0.9 percentage points (23%). The same increase in local restrictiveness also causes a 6.1% rise in commuting distances. The results underline the interdependence of local housing and Labour markets and the unintended adverse impact of more restrictive planning policies.
We develop a spatial monopolistic competition model in which city structure formation is entirely driven by market interactions. When preferences and transport costs are described by real analytic functions, equilibrium land-use patterns are segregated. We completely solve the case of quasilinear quadratic preferences and quadratic transport costs. The city is monocentric when firms are few, duocentric when they are neither too few nor too many, and involves a residential central area bordered by two commercial clusters when firms are many. In the long-run equilibrium, the city size and its spatial structure may change swiftly in response to tiny variations in the opportunity cost of land. Our model captures spatial price dispersion without involving any search frictions.
We investigate the geographical distribution of economic activity and wages in a general equilibrium model with many asymmetric regions and costly trade. As shown by extensive simulations on random networks, local market size better explains a region's industry share, whereas accessibility better explains a region's wage. The correlation between equilibrium wages and industry shares is low, thus suggesting that the two variables operate largely independently. The model replicates well the spatial distribution of industry using Spanish data, yet overpredict changes in that distribution due to changes in 'generalized transport costs'. The latter had only small impacts on changes in the geographical distribution of economic activity in Spain from 1980 to 2007.
We develop a monopolistic competition model with heterogeneous agents who self-select into occupations (entrepreneurs and workers) depending on innate ability. The effect of market size on the equilibrium occupational structure crucially hinges on properties of the lower tier utility function—its scale elasticity and relative love for-variety.When combined with the underlying ability distribution, the share of entrepreneurs and income inequality can increase or decrease with market size. When extended to allow for the endogenous sorting of mobile agents between cities, numerical examples suggest that sorting may increase inequality within and between cities.
We provide a selective survey of what has been accomplished under the heading of monopolistic competition in industrial organization and other economic fields. Among other things, we argue that monopolistic competition is a market structure in its own right, which encompasses a much broader set-up than the celebrated constant elasticity of substitution (CES) model. Although oligopolistic and monopolistic competition compete for adherents within the economics profession, we show that this dichotomy is, to a large extend, unwarranted.
This paper provides an extended analysis of an equilibrium concept for non-cooperative games with boundedly rational players: Nash-2 equilibrium. Players think one step ahead and account for all profitable responses of player-specific subsets of opponents because of both the cognitive limitations on predicting everyone’s reaction and the inability to make deeper and certain predictions. They cautiously reject improvements that might lead to worse profits after some reasonable response. For n-person games we introduce the notion of a reflection network consisting of direct competitors to express the idea of selective farsightedness. For almost every 2-person game with a complete reflection network, we prove the existence of a Nash-2 equilibrium. Nash-2 equilibrium sets are obtained in models of price and quantity competition, and in Tullock’s rent-seeking model with two players. It is shown that such farsighted behavior may provide strategic support for tacit collusion. The analyses of n-person Prisoner’s dilemma and oligopoly models with a star reflection structure demonstrate some possibilities of strategic collusion and a large variety of potentially stable outcomes.
We develop a product-differentiated model where the product space is a network defined as a set of varieties (nodes) linked by their degrees of substitutability (edges). We also locate consumers into this network, so that the location of each consumer (node) corresponds to her "ideal" variety. We show that there exists a unique Bertrand-Nash equilibrium where prices are determined by both the firms' sign-alternating Bonacich centralities and the average willingness to pay across consumers. We also investigate how local product differentiation and the spatial discount factor affect the equilibrium prices. We show that these effects non-trivially depend on the network structure. In particular, we find that, in a star-shaped network, the central firm does not always enjoy higher monopoly power than the peripheral firms.
Standard measures of competitive toughness fail to capture the fact that, as consumers optimize intertemporally, firms operating today compete with (yet non-existent) businesses which will be started tomorrow. We develop a two-tier CES model of dynamic monopolistic competition in which the impact of product differentiation on the market outcome depends crucially on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS). The degree of product differentiation per se fails to serve as a meaningful indicator of competitive toughness: what matters is its cross-effect with EIS. We also extend the model to the case of non-CES preferences to capture variable markups.
This paper provides an empirical test of spatial wage convergence in Russian cities. Using geo-coded data covering 997 Russian cities and towns from 1996 to 2013, I show that real city wages (i) converge over time and (ii) are significantly affected by the initial levels of real wages in neighboring cities. I also find that cities of the Far North, where a special wage policy is implemented, were converging more slowly than the rest of the country. I find a significant negative impact of regional subsidies on real wages in cities outside the Far North, and that the effect of extractive industries on real wage has become weaker. These results are robust to the radius of spatial interaction, and my conclusions hold if remote settlements are not taken into account.
Paid parking is the recommended policy tool to deal with cruising for street parking. In the Netherlands, residents receive parking permits when paid parking is introduced, to increase their political support. We estimate the effect of this policy on residents by examining the effect of the introduction of paid parking on house prices for Amsterdam and Utrecht during a period of 30 years. We find no effect of this policy on house prices. This finding is consistent with the idea that residents only vote in favour of a local policy when it has no negative impact on their house prices.
We develop an urban model that incorporates: (1) heterogeneous sites; (2) fiscal and urban externalities; and (3) an endogenous number of cities, i.e., the extensive margin of urban development. Within- and across-city decreasing returns to scale cause agents to perceive their city as being too large in the socially optimal allocation. As a consequence, in equilibrium the largest cities on the most attractive sites are undersized, whereas the smaller cities on less attractive sites are oversized. We propose a test for optimal city size with heterogeneous sites extending the Henry George Theorem.