Primavera 2004



Rafael Boix Domènech

Network cities and externalities

The concept of «agglomeration economies» explains the existence of advantages derived from the concentration of population and activity. However, it does not explain the existence of spatially dynamic external economies. Network economies generated in networks of cities correspond to this last type, since they are generated from the interaction between urban units, linked by a network relationship. The objective of this research is to advance in the study of the relationship between the networks of cities and the generation of external economies. The research is divided in four parts: first we expose the link between networks of cities and external economies. The second part outlines a model for the combined measuring of the concentration and network economies. The third part explains the results of applying the model to a case of study: the network of cities of Catalonia. The results suggest that there is a causal relationship between the organization of the urban units forming networks of cities and the generation of external economies that affect growth and economic development. Finally, conclusions and policy implications are drawn up.

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Galit Cohen and Peter Nijkamp

City, ICT and Policy

New technologies tend to exert a profound influence on modern city life. This paper addresses the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the city. After a broad overview of the potential of ICT in a geographical setting and its possible impact on urban policy in regard to the ICT sector, the paper focusses attention on urban public policy in regard to the ICT sector. This study offers the proposition that urban ICT policy is driven by the stakeholders’ attitudinal and perceptional factors which govern ultimately decisions of the urban administration. Based on an extensive survey among urban policy-makers, the paper seeks to test the above hypothesis by offering a wide variety of empirical findings.

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Rafael Pinilla Pallejà y Francisco J. Goerlich Gisbert

Per capita income and quality life potencial (QLP) in Spain (1981-1999)

The Quality Life Potential, QLP is a new well-being measure. The QLP combines income above social poverty line with life expectancy at any age according to the quality life function. The objective of this research is to show the feasibility and relevance of QLP estimation with available statistical data. Furthermore, the estimated QLP will be compared to some conventional income measures as the per capita GDP. The basic concepts of the quality life function will be presented. The QLP will be derived to a simple functional relation. The operative methodology to computing QLP will be specified and applied to Spanish available data from 1980 to 1999. The QLP construction methodology leads to elaborate related family indicators: life potentials and quality incomes. These indicators allow us the analytic decomposition of QLP that explains the evolution along time. The analytic decomposition helps us to understand when and where the conventional income indicators could be a good estimator of social well-being and economic development.

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Juan Miguel Benito y Roberto Ezcurra

Spatial disparities in the European Union: national and sectoral elements

This paper applies non-parametric techniques to examine the evolution of the entire distribution of regional productivity in the European Union between 1977 and 1999. In addition, we study the importance of the respective roles played by regional and sectoral factors in the convergence of productivity observed in the European context. To achieve this aim, we consider a new methodology involving a modification of conventional shift-share analysis and various results reported in the literature on personal income distribution. The empirical evidence provided suggests that regional inequality in productivity in the European Union is closely linked to intrinsic differences between regions. Likewise, the analyses developed reveal the major role played by the national component in the explanation of regional disparities in product per worker in the European context. Our findings also support the relevance of one-sector growth models for analysing regional disparities in per capita income.

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Angel Alañón Pardo

A spatial model of regional per capita product: empirical evidence from the Spanish provinces, "comarcas" and municipalities

This paper presents a model which explains per capita regional product as a function of spatial and non spatial variables. Spatial variables may act within and beyond its territory and are related to spatial phenomena such as spatial external economies or expenditure urban multipliers. The model is estimated using Spatial Econometrics techniques and empirical evidence from the Spanish provinces, «comarcas» (sub-regions) and municipalities. The results validate the model in the three different levels of spatial aggregation and underline that spatial variables explain from 30 to 50% of regional product generation.

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Maria Llop Llop y Antonio Manresa Sánchez

The influence of factor prices and import prices on the Catalan Economy (1994)

The objective of this paper is to show the influence of the primary inputs prices on the production prices in the Catalan Economy. The methodology we use is the input-output framework, which has permitted us to reflect the changes in the prices of domestic processing sectors under changes in their input costs. Our results demonstrate that production prices react with higher intensity when there is a change in the import costs, in comparison with a change in the domestic costs. This evidence allows us to conclude that the price control inside the economy may be very limited when the increased cost is caused by the foreign sector.

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Methodological and research notes

Adolfo Maza Fernández y José Villaverde Castro

Deteminants of interregional migration in Spain: new analysis techniques

This paper analyses the determinants of internal migration in Spain from a regional standpoint. For this purpose, it develops both a nonparametric and semiparametric approach. The general conclusion that it is drawn from the study is that migratory movements are very persistent and mainly respond, though weakly, to the differentials of per capita income, unemployment rates and housing costs between regions.

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Surveys and Debates

Diego Azqueta Oyarzun y Gonzalo Delacámara Andrés

The role of environmental factors in the New Economic Geography framework

This paper analyses a number of outcomes that the increase in the social demand for a higher environmental quality may have on the patterns of spatial specialization, irrespective of the scale of analysis. This paper aims at exploring how, together with new possibilities for backward regions, some sub-optimal solutions can also be found from a social viewpoint. On the other hand, we reflect on how an efficient allocation of resources (internalising environmental considerations), could well be incompatible with the dismantling of protectionism within the agricultural sectors of developed countries. The impact on biological diversity is specifically studied.

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Masahisa Fujita y Paul Krugman

The new economic geography: Past, present and the future

This article presents a summary of our conversation on the past, present and future of the new economic geography, which took place with the help of an interlocutor in San Juan, Puerto Rico in November 2002. Following the intro-duction, we explain what the new economic geography is, and we describe some basic models. The discussion of its various critical aspects is presented subse-quently, and the article concludes with the discussion of future issues and challenges facing the field.

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Books reviews