The economics of density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall

Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Stephen Redding, Daniel M. Sturm, Nikolaus Wolf, 20 August 2014

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Economic activity is highly unevenly distributed across space, as reflected in the existence of cities and the concentration of economic functions in specific locations within cities, such as Manhattan in New York and the Square Mile in London.

Topics: Europe's nations and regions, Global economy, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: agglomeration, Berlin, density, dispersion

Agglomeration and product innovation in China

Hongyong Zhang, 21 July 2014

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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.

Topics: Productivity and Innovation
Tags: agglomeration, China, clusters, innovation, productivity, R&D, spatial concentration, subsidies

How history can contribute to better economic education

Coen Teulings, 11 July 2014

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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.

Topics: Economic history, Education
Tags: agglomeration, Agriculture, economic history, geography, history, Industrial Revolution, institutions, new economic geography, urbanisation

Did the internet prevent all invention from moving to one place?

Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb, Shane Greenstein, 23 May 2014

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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.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: agglomeration, economic geography, information technology, internet, invention, patents, technology

Making city lights shine brighter

Shahid Yusuf, Danny Leipziger, 3 March 2014

Vox readers can download CEPR Policy Insight 71 for free here.

URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/policy_insights/viewpi.php?pino=71
Topics: Development
Tags: agglomeration, cities, externalities, growth, Inequality, slums, urbanisation

Making city lights burn brighter

Danny Leipziger, Shahid Yusuf, 3 March 2014

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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.

Topics: Development
Tags: agglomeration, cities, externalities, growth, Inequality, slums, urbanisation

Historical trends of agglomeration to the capital region

Takatoshi Tabuchi, 28 November 2013

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Postwar trends

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

Topics: Migration
Tags: agglomeration, capital cities, cities, new economic geography, urbanisation

Competing successfully in a globalising world: Lessons from Lancashire

Nicholas Crafts, Nikolaus Wolf, 22 October 2013

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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.

Topics: Economic history, International trade
Tags: agglomeration, cities, cotton, globalisation, Industrial Revolution, industrialisation, Lancashire, trade, wages

Do large departments make academics more productive? Agglomeration and peer effects in research

Clément Bosquet, Pierre-Philippe Combes, 21 June 2013

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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.

Topics: Education, Productivity and Innovation
Tags: agglomeration, France, Peer Effects

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

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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.

Topics: Industrial organisation
Tags: agglomeration, clusters, East Germany, Germany

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