Inter-basin Water Transfers and the Size of Regions: An Economic Geography Example
Accepted Water Resources and Economics
A two-region, spatial general equilibrium model is developed to explore the implications of interregional water transfers on household migration and the intraregional distribution of land between urban and agricultural use when there are agglomeration economies in urban production. A particular example is considered where an arid region lacks water resources but has a comparative advantage in both agricultural productivity and household amenities. The conditions for the stability of both the dispersed and concentrated equilibria are found. Numerical simulations provide a graphical example of the set of stable equilibria in the parameter space. Finally, the model is calibrated using data on household consumption and agricultural production patterns in the US.
Cultural Workers and the Character of Cities
(Awarded Springer Award at 2017 WRSA Conference)
This paper develops a conceptual two region general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents in order to explore the tradeoffs between the market size in aggregate demand and market crowding effects in housing costs that cultural producers face in cities that foster industries with agglomeration economies. When all types of workers supply labor inelastically, we find that concentration is always a stable equilibrium and define the conditions for segregated and integrated equilibrium to be stable. An extension is considered where cultural producers can divide their time between working in the arts or in a constant returns production sector.
Is Higher Quality Land Developed Earlier?
(With Richard J. Arnott)
This paper addresses the question: Is higher-quality land developed earlier? To answer this question, the paper applies comparative static analysis to the Arnott-Lewis model of the transition of land from agricultural to urban use. Four dimensions of land quality are considered: agricultural fertility, land preparation costs, structure construction costs, and amenities. It is shown that: i) an increase in agricultural fertility increases structural density and delays development; ii) a decline in land preparation cost reduces structural density and hastens development; iii) both an increase in amenities and a decrease in structure construction costs normally hasten development, but in anomalous cases can delay development. The paper presents two numerical examples illustrating these anomalies, and explains them.
The development of interregional water transportation over the past fifty years, which has been used to supply arid regions with water for urban and agricultural use, poses an interesting question with the current global trend towards urbanization. If the lack of a sufficient local water supply is no longer an impediment for urban growth or agricultural production, how will water need to be allocated over space when there is heterogeneity in agricultural land and agglomeration economies in cities? This paper develops a two region trade model with heterogeneous agricultural productivity and natural amenities, and interregional mobility of water resources in order to explore the long run spatial allotment of land and water for urban and agricultural use. The effects of key parameters are explored analytically for a special case. In addition, the model is solved numerically to allow comparisons among various policy scenarios.