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Agglomeration economies and spatial configurations in rural areas

Abstract : The question to be addressed here is that of the agglomeration/dispersion forces that are likely to account for the location of people and jobs in rural areas and the way they explain spatial patterns in rural areas depending on urban influence. Economic geography models may provide suitable tools with which to investigate the organization of rural areas. We first review these models, focusing on dispersion forces, which rest basically on land consumption and transport costs. We suggest then a set of hypotheses concerning the main forces at work in rural areas. Intensity of agglomeration economies is hypothesized to be related to the urban size, which in turn induces increasing land rents and finally agglomeration diseconomies. Such diseconomies encourage population spread around the city and in a second stage a possible partial decentralization of population-serving firms, which seek the proximity to the households. The consequences in terms of spatial patterns are that beyond a certain threshold of the city size, decentralization of population-serving firms occurs, giving rise to secondary services centers, whereas services remain concentrated in the center for smaller cities. Empirical results concerning population densities, labor force exchanges and distribution of residentiary services in labor-market areas surrounding cities of more than 20,000 inhabitants in six French regions are presented.
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Florence Gofette-Nagot, Bertrand Schmitt. Agglomeration economies and spatial configurations in rural areas. [Research Report] Laboratoire d'analyse et de techniques économiques(LATEC). 1997, 29 p., Table, ref. bib. : 3 p. 1/2. ⟨hal-01526882⟩

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