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Urban Growth Drivers and Spatial Inequalities: Europe - a Case with Geographically Sticky People

Paul Cheshire () and Stefano Magrini ()

LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series from European Institute, LSE

Abstract: Analysts of regional growth differences in the US tend to assume full spatial equilibrium (Glaeser et al, 1995). Flows of people thus indicate changes in the distribution of spatial welfare more effectively than differences in incomes. Research in Europe, however, shows that people tend to be immobile. Even mobility within countries is restricted compared to the US but national boundaries offer particular barriers to spatial adjustment. Thus it is less reasonable to assume full spatial equilibrium in a European context and differences in per capita incomes may persist and signal real spatial welfare differences. Furthermore, it implies that the drivers of what population movement there is, may differ from the drivers of spatial differences in productivity or output growth. This paper analyses the drivers of differential urban growth in the EU both in terms of population and output growth. The results show significant differences in the drivers as well as common ones. They also reveal the extent to which national borders still impede spatial adjustment in Europe. This has important implications for policy and may apply more generally to countries – for example China - less homogeneous than the USA.

Date: 2010-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-geo and nep-ure
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Related works:
Working Paper: Urban Growth Drivers and Spatial Inequalities: Europe - a Case with Geographically Sticky People (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Urban Growth Drivers and Spatial Inequalities: Europe - a case with geographically sticky people (2008) Downloads
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