PUBLICATION Beijer Discussion Paper

An Energy-centric Theory of Agglomeration

This paper sets out a simple spatial model of energy exploitation to ask how the location and productivity of energy resources affects 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 find a novel scaling law linking the productivity of energy resources to population sizes; rivers and roads effectively 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.

Moreno-Cruz., J., and M. S. Taylor. 2016. Beijer Discussion Paper 258: An Energy-centric Theory of Agglomeration. Beijer Discussion Paper Series.