Spatial agglomeration of economic activities is generally assumed to improve productivity and spur firms’ innovation through localisation economies and urbanisation economies.1 There is an extensive empirical literature investigating the effects of localisation and urbanisation on firm-level productivity.
Agglomeration and product innovation in China
Hongyong Zhang, 21 July 2014
How history can contribute to better economic education
Coen Teulings, 11 July 2014
Historians tend to stress the particularities in history. Each event is unique, caused by a set of conditions that will never reproduce themselves again. In turn, each event causes new events, which therefore are equally unique and equally irreproducible. Hence, historians conduct painstaking research into the details of these conditions to understand the course of history.
Did the internet prevent all invention from moving to one place?
Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb, Shane Greenstein, 23 May 2014
Reading the technology press, it often seems as if the media think all high-tech invention happens in Silicon Valley. This parochial viewpoint highlights the ‘agglomeration’ advantages that the Valley provides to inventors because so many technology firms are located in the same place.
Making city lights shine brighter
Shahid Yusuf, Danny Leipziger, 3 March 2014
Vox readers can download CEPR Policy Insight 71 for free here.
Making city lights burn brighter
Danny Leipziger, Shahid Yusuf, 3 March 2014
Urbanisation and per capita GDP are well correlated.1 According to a recent estimate by Gilles Duranton using cross-country data for 2012 (see Figure 1), each percentage point of urbanisation is associated with a five-percentage-point increase in GDP per capita, with urbanisation apparently explaining 60% of the variation in incomes.
Historical trends of agglomeration to the capital region
Takatoshi Tabuchi, 28 November 2013
The first stylised fact about regional population distribution is the steady progress of urbanisation. As shown in Figure 1, the urban population percentage has been steadily growing for a long time all over the world (United Nations 2011).
Figure 1. Urban population share by major geographical area
Competing successfully in a globalising world: Lessons from Lancashire
Nicholas Crafts, Nikolaus Wolf, 22 October 2013
The ‘first globalisation’ of the 19th century – driven by the substantial falls in trade costs associated with the age of steam – saw the ‘First Unbundling’ (Baldwin 2006), in which industrial production and consumption became spatially separated, often by large distances.
Do large departments make academics more productive? Agglomeration and peer effects in research
Clément Bosquet, Pierre-Philippe Combes, 21 June 2013
Every academic has an opinion about what makes a good department. Surprisingly, there are few hard studies quantifying this precisely, although possible implications for an optimal design of education and research policies are numerous. Aghion et al. (2010) is an example of the general recent concern about the optimal design and governance of universities.
Caution to place makers: Greater firm density does not always promote incumbent firm health
William Kerr, Oliver Falck, Christina Günther, Stephan Heblich, 11 February 2013
A common theme in economic geography is that increasing returns to scale at the local level are essential for explaining the geographical distribution of economic activity. These agglomerative forces are often cited as a rationale for policy intervention to attract new firms to areas.
Why policies may need to be place-based in order to be people-centred
Jose Enrique Garcilazo, Joaquim Oliveira Martins, William Tompson, 20 November 2010
In a recent Vox column “Regional Development Policies: Place-Based or People-Centred?”, Indermit Gill (2010), the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia Region, argues strongly for the “spatially blind” approach to regional development policies advocated by the Bank’s 2009 World De
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Cadot, de Melo, 16 June 2014
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