NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Yimei Zou

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2015Urban Networks: Connecting Markets, People, and Ideas
with Edward L. Glaeser, Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto: w21794
Should China build mega-cities or a network of linked middle-sized metropolises? Can Europe’s mid-sized cities compete with global agglomeration by forging stronger inter-urban links? This paper examines these questions within a model of recombinant growth and endogenous local amenities. Three primary factors determine the trade-off between networks and big cities: local returns to scale in innovation, the elasticity of housing supply, and the importance of local amenities. Even if there are global increasing returns, the returns to local scale in innovation may be decreasing, and that makes networks more appealing than mega-cities. Inelastic housing supply makes it harder to supply more space in dense confines, which perhaps explains why networks are more popular in regulated Europe than ...

Published: Evert Meijers & Martijn Burger & Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Yimei Zou, 2016. "Urban networks: Connecting markets, people, and ideas," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(1), pages 17-59, 03. citation courtesy of

 
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