Productive Cities: Sorting, Selection and Agglomeration

48 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010

See all articles by Kristian Behrens

Kristian Behrens

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics

Gilles Duranton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Frederic Robert-Nicoud

University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

Large cities produce more output per capita than small cities. This may occur because more talented individuals sort into large cities, because large cities select more productive entrepreneurs and firms, or because of agglomeration economies. We develop a model of systems of cities that combines all three elements and suggests interesting complementarities between them. The model can replicate stylised facts about sorting, agglomeration, and selection in cities. It can also generate Zipf's law for cities. Finally, it provides a useful framework within which to reinterpret existing empirical evidence.

Keywords: agglomeration, city size, selection, sorting, urban premium, Zipf's law

JEL Classification: J24, R10, R23

Suggested Citation

Behrens, Kristian and Duranton, Gilles and Robert-Nicoud, Frederic L., Productive Cities: Sorting, Selection and Agglomeration (July 2010). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7922, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1640998

Kristian Behrens (Contact Author)

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 8888, Downtown Station
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8
Canada

Gilles Duranton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 7604 (Phone)
+44 20 7955 7412 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Frederic L. Robert-Nicoud

University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics ( email )

40, boulevard du Pont-d'Arve
Geneva 4, CH-1211
Switzerland
+41 22 379 8272 (Phone)
+41 22 379 8293 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unige.ch/ses/ecopo/staff/robert/home.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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