About the Origin of Cities

34 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

See all articles by André de Palma

André de Palma

Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan

Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou

McMaster University - Department of Economics

Jacques-François Thisse

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

Philip Ushchev

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: September 2018

Abstract

We provide a bare-bones framework that uncovers the circumstances which lead either to the emergence of equally-spaced and equally-sized central places or to a hierarchy of central places. We show how these patterns reflect the preferences of agents and the efficiency of transportation and communication technologies. Under one class of agents, the economy is characterized by a uniform distribution or by a periodic distribution of central places having the same size. Under two asymmetric classes of agents, the interaction between agents may give rise to a hierarchy of settlements with one or several primate cities.

Suggested Citation

de Palma, André and Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y. and Thisse, Jacques-François and Ushchev, Philip, About the Origin of Cities (September 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13181. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3250797

André De Palma (Contact Author)

Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan ( email )

61 Avenue du President Wilson
94235 Cachan
France
33688714344 (Phone)

Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou

McMaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

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

Philip Ushchev

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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