103 research outputs found

    E-commerce, delivery drones and their impact on cities

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    E-commerce has gained importance over the last years and the COVID-19 pandemic has further strengthened this development. With the increasing opportunities that novel transport technologies such as cargo drones offer, e-commerce is likely to even become more attractive in upcoming years. This paper therefore analyses the long-run effects of increasing importance of e-commerce and, more specifically, the impact of a shift towards package delivery via drones. Using a polycentric urban spatial general equilibrium model that incorporates the different retail channels, we model the consumer's choice between local and online shopping. In the case of online shopping, delivery takes place either via drone or via truck. Due to the equilibrium mechanisms, changes in shopping behavior potentially result in different home and work location choices or labor supply choices. The model thus allows assessing the long-run effects of e-commerce and drone delivery, also on related markets such as the markets for land, labor and goods. A numerical simulation of the model shows that each additional retail channel adds welfare and that changes in the shopping channels result in changes in location choices of households and companies.</p

    The Impact of Ageing on International Capital Flows in a Heterogeous World with Imperfect Capital Mobility

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    This paper develops and calibrates a simple neoclassical model of economic growth to analyse the impact of ageing on international capital markets. Savings depend on the age structure of the population, but also on the growth rate and the per capita income level. Capital immobility results in real interest rate differentials that depend on the Net Foreign Asset Position of countries. In such a world, the impact of ageing on international capital markets depends on a range of mechanisms, partly offsetting each other. The main mehanisms that are presents in the model are that ageing reduces labour supply and thus reduces investment demand, while at the same time it reduces savings. The effect on the Net Foreign Asset Position, the user cost of capital and the world interest rate is therefore ambiguous. Within the context of such a model, the main questions that we address are how important demographic changes are for international capital flows and how capital mobility affects the allocation of investment funds in economies that are ageing at different speeds. We will initially restrict the attention to the developed countries. Subsequently, we address the implications of ageing for capital flows between developed and developing region

    The Institutional Determinants of Bilateral Trade Patterns

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    The intensity of international transactions remains lower than could be potentially justified on the basis of transportation costs alone. This has become known as the ‘mystery of the missing trade’. Transaction costs may be responsible for ‘under-trading’ across national borders. More specifically, the relatively low intensity of foreign trade may reflect the importance of institutions for cross-border transactions. This paper studies the effect of institutions on trade flows, using a gravity model approach. According to the gravity model, trade between any two countries is a function of each country's gross domestic product, the distance between them, and possibly other variables that reflect the costs of trade between them. We start from a standard gravity equation that incorporates variables for geographical proximity, common language, trade policy and common history. These factors reflect costs of trade across geographical and cultural distances. The quality of governance and the extent of familiarity with the resulting framework of rules and norms also affect the costs of doing business between any pair of countries. The effects of institutional quality and similarity on transaction costs may be substantial in international markets. Because of the greater extent of competition and higher uncertainty in international markets, the impact of quality and similarity of institutions on cross-border trade may be relatively pronounced. Therefore, this paper extends the gravity equation to include proxies for institutional quality and institutional homogeneity between trade partners. We use indicators on political stability, regulatory quality, corruption and other proxies that reflect the quality of governance, available from the comparative data set constructed by Kaufmann and others (World Bank, 2002). Variables that capture similarity in the quality of institutions are then constructed from these indicators. We test whether institutional homogeneity and institutional quality have an independent impact on trade volume between pairs of countries. The results indicate that, for example, having a similar law or regulatory framework promotes bilateral trade. Furthermore, a better quality of formal institutions on average coincides with higher trade. JEL codes: F14 Keywords: bilateral trade flows, gravity model, institution

    Technological Leadership and Sectoral Employment Growth: A Spatial Econometric Analysis for U.S. Counties

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    This paper investigates the determinants of the technological catch up process and examines to what extent geographical and/or technological proximity to the technology leader impact regional employment growth. The employment growth impacts of technological and geographical proximity to the technology leader are examined at a reasonably low level of spatial aggregation, with sufficient attention to sectoral differences and the role of space. The theoretical framework builds on Glaeser et al. (1992), in which employment growth depends on technological progress. Technological progress is endogenously determined and depends on agglomeration economies, specifically specialization, competition and diversity. We extended the Glaeser et al. (1992) theoretical framework by first considering that technological progress also depends on the characteristics of the agglomeration economies in proximate regions. Next, we considered that technological progress depends on a hierarchical process of catch-up to the technology leader, following previous work by Benhabib and Spiegel (1994). The methodology is applied to data of U.S. counties in the lower 48 states, and we consider two-digit industries following the NAICS classification. Results indicate that human capital plays a crucial role in promoting sectoral employment growth. The effect of technological distance varies, depending on which sector is considered. Technological distance to the leader shows a positive and significant effect on employment growth in the sectors Construction & Manufacturing, Information & Utilities, and Services. No effect of technological distance was noticed for Finance & Management, Transportation & Trade, and Natural Resources. The effect of geographical distance to the technology leader on employment growth also varies across sectors. A negative effect is observed for Construction & Manufacturing and Finance & Management. The effect of geographical distance is positive for Natural Resources and Transportation & Trade. No significant effect of geographical distance was observed for Information and Utilities and Services

    Going electric: Environmental and welfare impacts of urban ground and air transport

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    This research aims to assess the broader impact of electric mobility in urban settlements, paying attention to both electrified ground and air transport. Considering electric cars as well as electric passenger drones, often referred to as UAM (urban air mobility), we use an urban spatial computable general equilibrium model to assess the welfare and environmental impacts of a transition to electric mobility. A numerical simulation of the model shows that a transition from gasoline to electric cars yields major emission reductions, while leading to welfare losses due to tax-induced market distortions. Introducing UAM into a gasoline-car city leads to marginal overall welfare gains. Introducing UAM into a city with electric cars results in welfare losses. While introducing UAM as an alternative to gasoline cars decreases CO2 emissions, the introduction of UAM as alternative to electric cars leads to increasing emissions

    European cultural heritage and tourism flows:The magnetic role of superstar World Heritage Sites

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    Cultural heritage is a potentially important determinant of international tourism flows. Apart from being an enrichment for both individuals and communities and an opportunity for different cultures to meet, tourism also represents a significant industry for European economies. We empirically investigate the impact of the endowment of tangible cultural heritage on tourism attractiveness of European regions. We measure material forms of cultural heritage both as regional density of locally defined monuments, cultural landscapes and museums, and as number of cultural sites listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites international programme. Using a Bayesian multilevel gravity model, we find that UNESCO cultural World Heritage Sites are associated with an increase of 6,000 (one site) to 60,000 (eight sites) international tourists from each European country to an average European region. On the other hand, regionally or nationally defined tangible forms of heritage play a more limited role as pull-factors for international tourism. Moreover, we show that the presence of UNESCO sites reduces the distance decay effect. International tourists are willing to travel longer distance if a destination is endowed with UNESCO cultural World Heritage Sites


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    Motorcycles dominate urban road traffic across Asia. We analyse how urban form influences preferences for motorcycle use, using a multinomial logistic regression model and data from a recent field study in the metropolitan area of Yogyakarta. We find that urban form explains about 20% of the observed variance in transport mode choice and that population density has a statistically significant positive effect on the likelihood of using a motorcycle for commuting. In addition, we find that the likelihood of choosing a motorcycle over other transport modes is highest for individuals living at intermediate distances from the city centre and that, in comparison with other transport modes, motorcycle use is most sensitive to travel distance. Our results suggest that a compact urban form, including a high population density and short commuting distances, may help in reducing the growth of motorcycle use in urban areas

    Technological leadership and sectorial employment growth: A spatial econometric analysis for U.S. counties

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    This paper studies the determinants of technological catch-up considering spatial and sectoral aggregation of industries. We investigate how geographical and technological proximity to the technology leader impact regional employment growth. We model technological progress by means of a hierarchical process of catch-up to the technology leader. We also incorporate measures for knowledge spillover effects to test the roles of competition, specialisation, and diversity at the industry level. Empirical results using data at the county level for different economic sectors (2-dig NAICS) for the United States indicate that human capital plays a crucial role in promoting sectoral employment growth. The association between technological/geographical distance to the technology leader and employment growth varies across sectors
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