Stability and sustainability of urban systems under commuting and transportation costs

Yuki Takayama, Kiyohiro Ikeda, Jacques François Thisse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the conditions for the emergence of a system of cities in a general equilibrium setting that accounts for the mobility of labor, transportation costs between cities and commuting costs within cities. Locations are equally distributed over a circular space. We find that the multiplicity of stable spatial equilibria is the rule and not the exception. Using the concept of stability areas to study the transition from one stable equilibrium to the next, we show that decreasing commuting or transportation costs generate equilibrium paths that may feature a megalopolis or hierarchical system of cities having different sizes. We confirm that transportation and commuting costs have opposite impacts on the space-economy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103553
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep


  • Cities
  • Commuting costs
  • Economic geography
  • Multiplicity of stable equilibria
  • Racetrack economy
  • Transportation costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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