International Workshop

Frontiers in Spatial Economics (Summary)


  • Time and Date: 10:25-18:20, Tuesday, April 14, 2015
  • Venue: RIETI's seminar room (METI Annex 11th floor, #1119&1121)
  • Language: English
  • Host: Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)


The "Frontiers in Spatial Economics" international workshop was held on April 14, 2015 as part of the Spatial Economic Analysis on Regional Growth project of the Regional Economies program directed by RIETI Faculty Fellow Takatoshi Tabuchi. Four professors on the front line of research presented topics on spatial economics with attention paid to urban and regional economics, and held discussions on various aspects with more than 40 participants. Several important policy implications were obtained during the discussions. The outlines of their presentations are as follows.

Jacques-Francois Thisse (National Research University Higher School of Economics) proposed a general model of monopolistic competition with unspecified preferences. Examining the existence of a free-entry equilibrium, he conducted comparative statics with respect to population size, GDP per capita, and productivity shocks in a general setting of the monopolistic competition model.

Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (London School of Economics) presented a model of multi-product export firms that highlights the specific demand and cost conditions in international trade. He showed how the increased competition from the demand shocks in export markets leads to substantial productivity improvements for multi-product exporters.

Henry G. Overman (London School of Economics) reported the sources of spatial sorting of workers by productivity by focusing on the role of birthplace in determining labor market outcomes. He showed that city size birthplace is positively correlated with current wages, partly due to inter-generational transmissions and the effect of birthplace on current location.

Diego Puga (Center for Monetary and Financial Studies) presented an overlapping generations model of urban sorting by workers with heterogeneous ability and self-confidence. He found that the city-size choices of individuals at different stages vary with ability and self-confidence in a way that closely matches our theoretical predictions.