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An Energy-centric Theory of Agglomeration

Juan Moreno-Cruz and M. Scott Taylor. 2016. Beijer Discussion Paper Series No. 258


This paper sets out a simple spatial model of energy exploitation to ask how the location and productivity of energy resources a ects the distribution of economic activity across geographic space. By combining elements from energy economics and economic geography we link the productivity of energy resources to the incentives for economic activity to agglomerate. We nd a novel scaling law linking the productivity of energy resources to population sizes; rivers and roads e ectively magnify productivity; and show how our theory's predictions concerning a single core aggregate to predictions over regional landscapes and city size distributions at the country level.

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