Intermediate goods and the spatial structure of an economy
ABSTRACT We develop a monopolistic competition model of spatial economy in which manufacturing requires a large variety of intermediate goods. The economy yields two types of monocentric configurations: an integrated city equilibrium (I-specialized city equilibrium) when transaction costs of intermediate goods are high (low). In the former, both manufacturing and intermediate sectors agglomerate in a single city. In the latter, the city is specialized in the provision of intermediate goods. When the economy is in an integrated city equilibrium, it is in a primacy trap such that population growth alone never leads to the formation of new cities.
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ABSTRACT: This paper examines the equilibrium of location of N vertically-linked firms. In a spatial economy composed of two regions, a monopolist firm supplies an input to N consumer goods firms that compete in quantities. It was concluded that, when there are increases in the transport cost of the input, downstream firms prefer to agglomerate in the region where the upstream firm is located, in order to obtain savings in the production cost. On the other hand, increases in the general transport cost or in the number of downstream firms lead to a dispersion of these firms, in order to reduce competition and locate closer to the final consumer.
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ABSTRACT: This paper examines whether population shrinkage leads to changes in urban hierarchy in terms of their relative size and function from the standpoint of the new economic geography. We find some salient patterns in which small cities in the agglomeration shadow become relatively bigger as medium industries spill over on them. This appears to be quite robust against a variation in the rate of natural change among cities. Thus, rank-size relationship and the urban hierarchy are partly disrupted as population shrinks. Regarding the welfare of the residents, a lower demand for land initially causes rent to go down, which boosts the utility. However, the illusion is short-lived because markets soon begin to shrink and suppress wages. We also find that it is better to maintain a slow pace of overall population decline in the long-term perspective. More importantly, it is crucial to sustain the relative livability of smaller cities to minimize the overall loss of utility.