Winners and losers in the urban system

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The urban system contains cities that are internationally competitive producers of goods and services, and cities that produce just for the domestic economy. It is hard for cities in the latter group (‘non-tradable cities’) to attract internationally traded sectors, particularly if these sectors exhibit agglomeration economies. The two city types may exhibit very different economic performance and economic shocks, such as globalisation, can cause their performance to diverge. Cities that lose their historical competitive advantage in a tradable sector (such as steel or textiles) are unlikely to attract a new tradable sector, instead switching to non-tradables. The consequence is that all non-tradable cities have lower nominal wages, and declining population, house prices and land rents. At the same time remaining ‘tradable cities’ boom, experiencing growing population and incomes. This dichotomy in the urban system is hard to reverse. This chapter explores a simple model of this process and the consequent pattern of winners and losers in the modern urban system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Empires
Subtitle of host publicationCities as Global Rulers in the New Urban World
EditorsEdward Glaeser, Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429892363
ISBN (Print)9781138601703, 9781138601710
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameThe Metropolis and Modern Life

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