Essays on New Economic Geography, Natural Resources and Income Transfers

  • Autor: José Rodolfo Morales
  • Director/es: María Pilar Martínez García
  • Defensa: 20/9/2019 - Facultad de Economía y Empresa. Universidad de Murcia
  • Tribunal: Pasquele Commendatore, Mabel Tidball, Fernando A. López Hernández
  • Calificación: Sobresaliente cum laude
  • Ver publicaciones relacionadas

ABSTRACT

Environmental induced migratory flows from rural areas are gaining interest among citizens and academics. A number of well documented examples of migration and redistribution of economic activity have been motivated by the depletion of natural resources. One of the main objectives of this thesis is to identify the forces driving these migrations, providing the microeconomic foundations to understand the effect of the exploitation of natural resources, and their regenerative ability, on the spatial distribution of economic activity. To tackle this issue we have developed a New Economic Geography (NEG) model that incorporates notions from the environmental economic literature. Moreover, international and interregional income transfers are widely established to compensate spatial economic disparities. According to the NEG literature, income transfers enlarge the market size of the recipient region, making it more attractive for firms to settle in. However, a negative relation between income transfers and industrial employment is sometimes observed. The Dutch disease literature advises that a large
windfall of economic resources tends to harm the competitiveness in international markets. To provide a comprehensive explanation of the effects of income transfers on the spatial distribution of the industry we have extended the Footloose Entrepreneur model by incorporating some key elements from the Dutch disease literature, such as the existence of nontradable goods, like services.

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The dynamics of the resource give rise to a new dispersion force: the resource effect. If primary goods are not tradable, lower trade costs boost dispersion, and the agglomeration–dispersion transition is sudden or smooth depending on the productivity of the primary sector. Cyclic behaviours arise for high levels of productivity in resource extraction. If primary goods are tradable, in most cases, the symmetric equilibrium goes from stable to unstable as the openness of trade increases. 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The dynamics of the resource give rise to a new dispersion force: the resource effect. If primary goods are not tradable, lower trade costs boost dispersion, and the agglomeration–dispersion transition is sudden or smooth depending on the productivity of the primary sector. Cyclic behaviours arise for high levels of productivity in resource extraction. If primary goods are tradable, in most cases, the symmetric equilibrium goes from stable to unstable as the openness of trade increases. 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