LSE LSE Research Laboratory LSE
LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

Abstract for:

Agglomeration Externalities and Urban Growth Controls

Wouter  Vermeulen,  October 2011
Paper No' SERCDP0093: | Full paper (pdf)
Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File
Keywords: Agglomeration externalities; growth controls, second-best policy, systems of cities

JEL Classification: R52; R12; R13

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: SERC Discussion Papers
Share this page: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter


Should constraints on urban expansion be relaxed because of external agglomeration economies? In a system of heterogeneous cities, we demonstrate that second-best land use policy consists of a tax on city creation and a subsidy (tax) on urban development in cities in which the marginal-average productivity gap is above (below) average. However, the implementation of this policy requires coordination at the system level. A tax on city creation does not raise welfare if development taxes are set decentrally by competitive urban developers, nor does correction of these taxes raise welfare if a tax on city creation is unavailable. In the resulting constrained optimal allocation, urban development is subsidized in all cities. The quantitative significance of these findings is explored in an application of our model.

This paper has been published as:
'Agglomeration externalities and urban growth controls', Wouter Vermeulen, Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2017