Urban Development: patterns, causes, foundations, and policy
Conference 13 and 14 December 2010
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam
Utrecht University (Department of Economics and Faculty of Geosciences)
Download the Programme of the Conference.
Register for this conference through the link below. Participation is free.
Ronald Wall, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies
A selection of papers presented and discussed at the workshop will be published as a special issue of the Journal of Regional Science, edited by the organizers, subject to a standard referee procedure. Similarly, a selection of papers will be eligible for publication in Regional Studies, subject to a standard referee procedure.
|Urban Development: Patterns, Causes, Foundations, and Policy|
|Monday 13 December 2010|
|08:45-09:30||Registration and coffee|
|09:30-09:45||Introduction by Kees van Rooijen (director IHS)|
|Opening Frank van Oort|
|Chair||Charles van Marrewijk|
|09:45-10:30||Ron Boschma||Frank Neffke||How do regions diversify over time?|
|10:30-11:15||Ronald Wall||Martijn Burger|
|Frank van Oort|
|11:45-12:45||Janet Bercovitz||Maryann Feldman||Entrepreneurism and the mechanisms of collaboration|
|13:45-14:30||Steven Brakman||Harry Garretsen||The Border Effect of EU Integration: |
Evidence for European Cities and Regions
|Charles van Marrewijk|
|14:30-15:15||Hernan Rozenfeld||Diego Rybski||The Area and Population of Cities: New Insights from a Different Perspective on Cities|
|15:45-16:45||Sukkoo Kim||Marc Law||History, institutions, and cities: a view from the Americas|
|Tuesday 14 December 2010|
|09:00-09:45||Meine Pieter van Dijk||The contribution of cities to economic development: explanation based on Chinese cities|
|09:45-10:30||Raymond Florax||Thomas de Graaff||Sectoral differences in urban concentration|
|Frank van Oort|
|11:00-12:00||Simona Iammarino||Elisabetta Marinelli||Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence?|
|12:00-12:45||Harry Garretsen||Ron Martin||Recessionary Shocks and Regional Employment: |
Evidence on the Resilience of UK Regions
|Chair||Frank van Oort|
|13:45-14:45||Michael Storper||Tom Kemeny||Amenities, Specialization, Institutions: What Explains US Metropolitan Income Levels?|
|14:45-15:30||Philip McCann||Agglomeration, networks and the fundamentals of EU cohesion policy|
|15:30-16:00||Closing remarks by Ronald Wall|
Urban development: patterns, causes, foundations, and policy
Urban development is not evenly distributed among cities, and often not stable over time. In interpreting urban development, several types of explanations are suggested in spatial economic disciplines. Some models are more detailed and applied than others – this workshop discusses the value and implications of models by determining their ability to actually describe and predict urban growth patterns, causes, shifts and shocks. To do this, the micro foundations and conceptual and analytical discourses of several types of models are discussed and compared on a solid theoretical and empirical foundation.
Classical models emphasize long-term, regular and path-dependent development. Models describing the nature and degree of urban concentrations, like Zipf, bell-shapes and other regularities models, are numerous but seem limited in applicability to individual cities. New Economic Geography models introduced agglomerating and dispersing factors for economic activities. Agglomerating effects, where firms are locating close to large markets, are fuelled by mechanisms of market access and minimizing transport costs of firms, benefits of producers and consumers of varieties in cities and the cost of living effect, where consumers minimize transport costs. Dispersing effects are caused by market crowding (firms trying to escape competition), housing costs and congestion. Evolutionary economic geography models hypothesize that urban and regional systems move down pathways, after “branching points” that are mostly technological in character. This more geographically embedded branch of theories focuses on concepts like technological change and lock-in; thresholds in transport and transaction costs; amenity shocks and their causes; and the influence of major political events. In the workshop we want to investigate what are modelling strategies for possibly reconciling these strands of research.
The workshop will have special attention for the issue of causality in this discussion. There are debates about how to model causal forces in location and urban development. Nowadays, formal modelling does not seem to be possible without proper dealing with causality and endogeneity. This touches on the micro foundations of urban economic development. Again, different conceptual approaches contribute to our understanding of causality in urban development. “New neoclassical” approaches use a spatial indifference function for firms (and other agents, too), while geographers mostly consider this fundamentally wrong, especially for innovative, early in the product cycle and skill intensive activities. This makes one wonder what the temporal sequences and causal hierarchies in urban development are, and which factors do matter more than others. An ever actual question in this respect is whether firm location “precedes” – temporally and causally – household choices, or the other way around. This underlies the fundamental question: do “people go to jobs” or “jobs go to people?” – assuming that we are not satisfied with perfectly simultaneous, all-direction causality. Other causalities that are often taken for granted can be questioned, like clustering, variety and agglomeration. Growing cities might attract more and a varied number of firms and functions than other cities, actually reversing causality on this issue. The same applies to innovation, creativity and housing issues in relation to urban development.
A body of literature on new industrial districts (NIDs) and collective learning emerged. The research is primarily inward looking, detailing how clusters and learning regions develop, operate and prosper (or fail). As the approaches differ from geographical economics, it is at times difficult to compare models and research outcomes but there are common features that allow cross-fertilization. External economies play a key role in all, which include non-traded interdependencies such as common services organized by joint action, norms and standards and the importance of trust and social embeddedness of networks. These attribute to a (non-tradable) territorially specific asset, a localized capability, fostered by localised economic governance. We need to study their relative importance for explaining growing agglomerations and the specific forms of governance stimulating growth.
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