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Regional dimensions of economic development in Iran: A new economic geography approach

Farmanesh, Amir (2009): Regional dimensions of economic development in Iran: A new economic geography approach.

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Abstract

This paper presents a spatial analysis on regional dimensions of poverty and economic development across provinces of Iran. It offers the first ever estimation made in developing countries using this strand of "New Economic Geography" (NEG) models and provides a comparison of the results between previously studied developed countries and Iran as a developing country.

The goal of this study is to offer an analysis of the effects of agglomeration and dispersion economies on the patterns of regional economic development in Iran. It analyzes the linkages among adjacent provinces as well as effects of agglomeration and dispersion economies on the patterns of Iran's regional economic development through empirical estimation of two of the NEG models.

First, it presents an estimation of a "Market Potential Function" (MPF), in which wages are associated with proximity to consumer markets. Second, the paper estimates an augmented MPF derived from the Krugman model of economic geography. The parameters in this model estimate the importance of transportation cost and economies of scale.

The estimation results suggest that Iran showed generally good fit to both models and satisfied both MPF and Krugman model specifications. Compared to other similar studies in developed countries, Iran shows smaller returns to scale and consistently higher size of the effect of market potential on wages.

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