Aging Nations and the Future of Cities

26 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009

See all articles by Carl Gaigne

Carl Gaigne

French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - UMR 1302 SMART

Jacques-François Thisse

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: 2009-04

Abstract

We investigate whether an aging population may challenge the supremacy of large working cities. To this end, we develop an economic geography model with two types of individuals (workers and retirees) and two sectors (local services and manufacturing). Workers produce and consume; the elderly consume only. As a result, the mobility decision of workers is driven by both the wage gap and the cost-of-living gap, unlike the elderly who react to the differences in the cost of living only. We show that the return of pre-industrial urban system dominated by rentier cities does not seem to be on the agenda. Quite the opposite, the future of large working cities is still bright, the reason being that today's urban costs act as a strong force that prevents a large share of local services and manufacturing firms from following the rentiers in the elderly cities, while the supply of differentiated b2c services impede their complete separation.

Suggested Citation

Gaigne, Carl and Thisse, Jacques-François, Aging Nations and the Future of Cities (2009-04). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 663-688, October 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1487267 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9787.2009.00629.x

Carl Gaigne

French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - UMR 1302 SMART ( email )

4 allée Adolphe Bobierre
CS 61103
Rennes Cedex, 35011
France

Jacques-François Thisse

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place des Doyens 1
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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