economic_geography   61

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[1910.07166] Evidence for localization and urbanization economies in urban scaling
"We study the scaling of (i) numbers of workers and aggregate incomes by occupational categories against city size, and (ii) total incomes against numbers of workers in different occupations, across the functional metropolitan areas of Australia and the US. The number of workers and aggregate incomes in specific high income knowledge economy related occupations and industries show increasing returns to scale by city size, showing that localization economies within particular industries account for superlinear effects. However, when total urban area incomes and/or Gross Domestic Products are regressed using a generalised Cobb-Douglas function against the number of workers in different occupations as labour inputs, constant returns to scale in productivity against city size are observed. This implies that the urbanization economies at the whole city level show linear scaling or constant returns to scale. Furthermore, industrial and occupational organisations, not population size, largely explain the observed productivity variable. The results show that some very specific industries and occupations contribute to the observed overall superlinearity. The findings suggest that it is not just size but also that it is the diversity of specific intra-city organization of economic and social activity and physical infrastructure that should be used to understand urban scaling behaviors."
to:NB  cities  economics  economic_geography  re:urban_scaling_what_urban_scaling  i_told_you_so 
7 weeks ago by cshalizi
Community structure of copper supply networks in the prehistoric Balkans: An independent evaluation of the archaeological record from the 7th to the 4th millennium BC | Journal of Complex Networks | Oxford Academic
Complex network analyses of many physical, biological and social phenomena show remarkable structural regularities [1]–[3], yet, their application in studying human past interaction remains underdeveloped. Here, we present an innovative method for identifying community structures in the archaeological record that allows for independent evaluation of the copper using societies in the Balkans, from c. 6200 to c. 3200 BC. We achieve this by exploring modularity of networked systems of these societies across an estimated 3000 years. We employ chemical data of copper-based objects from 79 archaeological sites as the independent variable for detecting most densely interconnected sets of nodes with a modularity maximization method [4]. Our results reveal three dominant modular structures across the entire period, which exhibit strong spatial and temporal significance. We interpret patterns of copper supply among prehistoric societies as reflective of social relations, which emerge as equally important as physical proximity. Although designed on a variable isolated from any archaeological and spatiotemporal information, our method provides archaeologically and spatiotemporally meaningful results. It produces models of human interaction and cooperation that can be evaluated independently of established archaeological systematics, and can find wide application on any quantitative data from archaeological and historical record.

https://blog.oup.com/2017/09/serendipity-metals-networks/

--The blog post could be used for a quick class discussion on networks. A quick perusal of the actual paper does not give me any reason to doubt the main conclusions of the paper.
To do: Create a multi-part question for HW or test, after a more critical read.
networks  teaching  archaelogy  community_detection  economic_geography  material_basis_of_civilization 
8 weeks ago by rvenkat
America has two economies—and they’re diverging fast
-- spatial heterogeneity of cities (see Venkatesh's work, for example) replicated at a larger national scale.
economic_geography  political_economy  us_politics  united_states_of_america 
11 weeks ago by rvenkat
Creating Moves to Opportunity: Experimental Evidence on Barriers to Neighborhood Choice∗
"Low-income families in the United States tend to live in neighborhoods that offer limited opportunities for upward income mobility. One potential explanation for this pattern is that families
prefer such neighborhoods for other reasons, such as affordability or proximity to family and
jobs. An alternative explanation is that they do not move to high-opportunity areas because
of barriers that prevent them from making such moves. We test between these two explanations using a randomized controlled trial with housing voucher recipients in Seattle and King
County. We provided services to reduce barriers to moving to high-upward-mobility neighborhoods: customized search assistance, landlord engagement, and short-term financial assistance.
The intervention increased the fraction of families who moved to high-upward-mobility areas
from 14% in the control group to 54% in the treatment group. Families induced to move to
higher opportunity areas by the treatment do not make sacrifices on other dimensions of neighborhood quality and report much higher levels of neighborhood satisfaction. These findings
imply that most low-income families do not have a strong preference to stay in low-opportunity
areas; instead, barriers in the housing search process are a central driver of residential segregation by income. Interviews with families reveal that the capacity to address each family’s needs
in a specific manner – from emotional support to brokering with landlords to financial assistance
– was critical to the program’s success. Using quasi-experimental analyses and comparisons to
other studies, we show that more standardized policies – increasing voucher payment standards
in high-opportunity areas or informational interventions – have much smaller impacts. We conclude that redesigning affordable housing policies to provide customized assistance in housing
search could reduce residential segregation and increase upward mobility substantially."
to:NB  economics  experimental_economics  inequality  economic_geography  via:??? 
august 2019 by cshalizi
Global labor flow network reveals the hierarchical organization and dynamics of geo-industrial clusters | Nature Communications
Groups of firms often achieve a competitive advantage through the formation of geo-industrial clusters. Although many exemplary clusters are the subjects of case studies, systematic approaches to identify and analyze the hierarchical structure of geo-industrial clusters at the global scale are scarce. In this work, we use LinkedIn’s employment history data from more than 500 million users over 25 years to construct a labor flow network of over 4 million firms across the world, from which we reveal hierarchical structure by applying network community detection. We show that the resulting geo-industrial clusters exhibit a stronger association between the influx of educated workers and financial performance, compared to traditional aggregation units. Furthermore, our analysis of the skills of educated workers reveals richer insights into the relationship between the labor flow of educated workers and productivity growth. We argue that geo-industrial clusters defined by labor flow provide useful insights into the growth of the economy.
network_data_analysis  economic_geography  community_detection  via:clauset  networks  teaching 
august 2019 by rvenkat
Vacancy Chain Models: Do They Fit into the Economist's Toolbox?: Housing, Theory and Society: Vol 21, No 4
Local housing markets are typically “thin”. This implies that vacant housing units are a scarce resource in the local housing market. Vacancy chain models constitute a class of models that explicitly link mobility and the production of vacancies within a housing market. This paper begins with the observation that this class of models is utilized to a quite low degree in the economic analysis of local housing markets. Economic methodological literature is used to discuss the reasons for this. One reason is that these models, quite unnecessarily, are presented as having a non‐behavioural basis. As economics is about the behaviour of deliberately acting agents, this way of presenting vacancy chain models is an obstacle to communication with economists. Although some shortcomings of vacancy chain models are identified and discussed here, it is concluded that such models should be included in the toolbox of economists analysing local housing markets.

--the last tag is because these models originated in occupational mobility literature.
institutions  labor  microeconomics  economic_geography  economic_sociology 
june 2019 by rvenkat
Spatial Patterns of Development: A Meso Approach | Annual Review of Economics
"Over the past two decades, the literature on comparative development has moved from country-level to within-country analyses. The questions asked have expanded in scope as economists have used satellite images of light density at night and other big spatial data to proxy for development at the desired level. The focus has also shifted from uncovering correlations to identifying causal relations, using elaborate econometric techniques including spatial regression discontinuity designs. In this review, we show how the combination of geographic information systems with insights from disciplines ranging from the earth sciences to linguistics and history has transformed the research landscape on the roots of the spatial patterns of development. We discuss the limitations of the luminosity data and associated econometric techniques and conclude by offering some thoughts on future research."
to:NB  economics  economic_geography 
may 2019 by cshalizi
The Development of the African System of Cities | Annual Review of Economics
"Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced high urban population growth over the past half century, dramatically reshaping the economic and spatial profile of the region. Simultaneously, this process has challenged the conventional view that countries urbanize alongside structural transformation, as urbanization in Africa has occurred despite low productivity gains in agriculture and very limited industrialization. While there are large household income gaps between urban and rural areas that induce migration, most cities have very high agricultural employment, blurring the connection between structural transformation and urbanization. Urban income premiums apply equally to farm and nonfarm families. Looking across the urban hierarchy, we discuss how high urban primacy presents problems for economic growth in Africa, how secondary cities are faltering with a lack of industrialization, and how growth of employment in tradable services may signal a different path to structural transformation."
to:NB  africa  cities  economic_geography  re:urban_scaling_what_urban_scaling 
may 2019 by cshalizi
A billion-dollar empire made of mobile homes - The Washington Post
--Interesting though not surprising reappearance of feudal structures.
Are there economic and political theories answering the *how* and *why* questions?
privatization  capitalism  market_failures  economic_geography  inequality  institutions  democracy  WaPo 
february 2019 by rvenkat
Urban scaling and the regional divide | Science Advances
Superlinear growth in cities has been explained as an emergent consequence of increased social interactions in dense urban environments. Using geocoded microdata from Swedish population registers, we remove population composition effects from the scaling relation of wage income to test how much of the previously reported superlinear scaling is truly attributable to increased social interconnectivity in cities. The Swedish data confirm the previously reported scaling relations on the aggregate level, but they provide better information on the micromechanisms responsible for them. We find that the standard interpretation of urban scaling is incomplete as social interactions only explain about half of the scaling parameter of wage income and that scaling relations substantively reflect differences in cities’ sociodemographic composition. Those differences are generated by selective migration of highly productive individuals into larger cities. Big cities grow through their attraction of talent from their hinterlands and the already-privileged benefit disproportionally from urban agglomeration.
urban_scaling  economic_geography  cities  social_networks  via:pholme 
february 2019 by rvenkat
The People of Hamilton, Canada West — Michael B. Katz | Harvard University Press
In this brilliant book, Michael Katz creates with vigor and sensitivity a decade in the life of a small Canadian city. He writes with the verve of a historical novelist, but in the process fulfills completely his reputation as one of the continent’s most exciting younger historians. One is totally captivated by his recreation and his analysis.

Katz makes it clear that his book is a “mixture of hard data and rash speculation,” but he has, in fact, amassed extraordinarily complete data which he uses to make a series of important statements about the people who lived in Hamilton, the structure of their inequality, their social and physical mobility, their growing up and growing rich, or not. He blends history, sociology, and psychology in a unique fashion when he describes growing up in the nineteenth century, either as a member of the entrepreneurial class in a small but thriving commercial city, or as one less favored.

This book will profoundly affect the future direction of social history because of its focus, its methods, and its style, and because the author asks a series of extraordinarily provocative questions. What connections, for example, can we assume between the structure of the family and attitudes and emotions of the people within it? Can we assume that growing up within a nineteenth-century extended family produced a different set of attitudes or a different personality in a child than life within a nuclear family? What inference can we draw from the stability of the distribution of wealth across time?
book  cities  historical_sociology  economic_geography  inequality  19th_century 
january 2019 by rvenkat
Interpreting economic complexity | Science Advances
Two network measures known as the economic complexity index (ECI) and product complexity index (PCI) have provided important insights into patterns of economic development. We show that the ECI and PCI are equivalent to a spectral clustering algorithm that partitions a similarity graph into two parts. The measures are also closely related to various dimensionality reduction methods, such as diffusion maps and correspondence analysis. Our results shed new light on the ECI’s empirical success in explaining cross-country differences in gross domestic product per capita and economic growth, which is often linked to the diversity of country export baskets. In fact, countries with high (low) ECI tend to specialize in high-PCI (low-PCI) products. We also find that the ECI and PCI uncover specialization patterns across U.S. states and U.K. regions.
networks  economic_geography  teaching 
january 2019 by rvenkat
The Geography of the Internet Industry (2008)
"This groundbreaking book analyses the geography of the commercial Internet industry. It presents the first accurate map of Internet domains in the world, by country, by region, by city, and for the United States, by neighborhood.
"Demonstrates the extraordinary spatial concentration of the Internetindustry.
Explains the geographic features of the high tech venture capital behind the Internet economy.
Demonstrates how venture capitalists' abilities to create and use tacit knowledge contributes to the clustering of the internet industry
Draws on in-depth interviews and field work in San Francisco Bay Area and New York City."
to:NB  books:noted  downloaded  economics  economic_geography  internet  market_failures_in_everything 
january 2019 by cshalizi
Economics of Agglomeration by Masahisa Fujita
Economic activities are not concentrated on the head of a pin, nor are they spread evenly over a featureless plane. On the contrary, they are distributed very unequally across locations, regions and countries. Even though economic activities are, to some extent, spatially concentrated because of natural features, economic mechanisms that rely on the trade-off between various forms of increasing returns and different types of mobility costs are more fundamental. This book is a study of the economic reasons for the existence of a large variety of agglomerations arising from the global to the local. This second edition combines a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of spatial economics and an in-depth discussion of the most recent theoretical developments in new economic geography and urban economics. It aims to highlight several of the major economic trends observed in modern societies. The first edition was the winner of the 2004 William Alonso Memorial Prize for Innovative Work in Regional Science.
book  cities  economics  economic_geography  market_failures  for_friends  via:cshalizi 
january 2019 by rvenkat
Economics of Agglomeration by Masahisa Fujita
"Economic activities are not concentrated on the head of a pin, nor are they spread evenly over a featureless plane. On the contrary, they are distributed very unequally across locations, regions and countries. Even though economic activities are, to some extent, spatially concentrated because of natural features, economic mechanisms that rely on the trade-off between various forms of increasing returns and different types of mobility costs are more fundamental. This book is a study of the economic reasons for the existence of a large variety of agglomerations arising from the global to the local. This second edition combines a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of spatial economics and an in-depth discussion of the most recent theoretical developments in new economic geography and urban economics. It aims to highlight several of the major economic trends observed in modern societies. The first edition was the winner of the 2004 William Alonso Memorial Prize for Innovative Work in Regional Science."

--- For ZMS's birthday?
to:NB  books:noted  cities  economics  economic_geography  market_failures_in_everything 
january 2019 by cshalizi
A Spatial Knowledge Economy
"Leading empiricists and theorists of cities have recently argued that the generation and exchange of ideas must play a more central role in the analysis of cities. This paper develops the first system of cities model with costly idea exchange as the agglomeration force. The model replicates a broad set of established facts about the cross section of cities. It provides the first spatial equilibrium theory of why skill premia are higher in larger cities and how variation in these premia emerges from symmetric fundamentals."
to:NB  economics  economic_geography  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial  re:urban_scaling_what_urban_scaling 
january 2019 by cshalizi
The World Is Not Yet Flat: Transport Costs Matter! | The Review of Economics and Statistics | MIT Press Journals
"Using microlevel commodity flow data and microgeographic plant-level data, we construct industry-specific ad valorem trucking rate series and measures of geographic concentration to provide evidence on the relationship between transport costs and agglomeration. We find that low-transport-cost industries display significantly more geographic concentration in the cross-sectional dimension and that falling transport costs agglomerate industries in the panel dimension. The effects are large: the fall in trucking rates between 1992 and 2008 implied a 20% increase in geographic concentration on average, all else equal."
to:NB  economics  economic_geography  logistics 
december 2018 by cshalizi

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