Large cities have gained stronger vitality and highly sophisticated urban functions in these last few decades. This trend helps the center retail environment (CCRE) in large cities to attract more consumers. On the other hand, satellite cities near the large cities are loosing their potential consumers due to a lack of well-developed transportation hub systems. The CCRE in the large cities are easily accessible and provide more attractive options and interests for consumers. A combination of these conditions and opening of large shopping malls and supermarkets in urban fringe areas has fostered a decline of traditional shopping sites (Shopping Streets Federation: SSF) in the CCRE. Motivated shop-owners or members of the SSF are trying to overcome this situation through projecting a variety of entertainment programs (i.e. music festivals). These projects, however, are not always successful because of a lack of precise understanding of consumers' demands, expectations and interests. This study was conducted to understand consumers' preferences for the CCRE environment by the text-mining method. This survey employed two methods; 1) respondents filled out a form for assessment of a retail store by the cloze procedure and 2) were allowed to freely answer questions about CCRE. The former method allowed us to identify the respondents' evaluation and reasons whereas the latter method provided CCRE with consumers' requests. The results from this study encompassed the following four major findings. 1) Consumers' recall patterns of shops differ according to the respondents' occupation 2) Positive evaluation patterns differ according to the type of retail store 3) Completion of evaluations for each shop depends on the interest of the consumers 4) Occupation of consumers affects the type of requests to CCRE Finally, the results from this study indicate a potential availability of qualitative data for further research on consumers' preference for retail stores and CCRE.
Investments for transportation infrastructure change the relative advantage that each region has through changes in accessibility to material/service markets and labour markets. For estimating the rate of return of transportation investments, we need a comprehensive model to determine how specialized transportation policies for enhancing the performance of transportation networks impact regional economies. The basic requirement to achieve this is to build an interregional model consistent with a computable economic general equilibrium model. The spatial computable general equilibrium model is an extension of CGE models that include interregional trade models, but empirical studies on the estimation procedures for behavioural parameters included in the interregional trade model have not been fully discussed so far. Therefore in this paper, we examine two approaches for estimating inter-regional trade coefficients that are used in the spatial computable general equilibrium model developed by the author. The first approach is based on the gravity model, in which a conventional statistical procedure is applied to identify parameters of trade coefficients. The second approach may be called a model-free approach and uses neural network models to model the complexity caused by differences between intra-regional and inter-regional trade coefficients. We show that traditional statistical approaches are insufficient to capture intra-regional trade coefficients because large variations exist in intra-regional commodity flows among regions and among commodity types. To overcome this weakness, we propose neural spatial interaction models and show that the neural network model is more flexible and outperforms the traditional method in capturing inter-regional trade coefficients.
Natural disasters have a negative effect on people and the regional economy. The central and regional governments have made natural disaster reduction a high priority. In this paper, we develop a dynamic spatial CGE model for evaluating the economic impacts of an earthquake on the Tokai region of Japan. Our model is characterized as a decentralized economy with utility-maximizing consumers and value-maximizing firms in a dynamic context. This model embodies both the spatial interactions among regions and the dynamics of regional investments. A simulation model is constructed of an inter-regional inter-sectoral economy in which Japan is subdivided into 47 regions. All the regions are connected by transportation networks. The model is calibrated for the regional economy in Japan. We analyze the dynamic impacts of a disaster in the Tokai region. Two scenarios are examined. The first is useful for an ex-post economic evaluation. The second scenario shows the importance of investment in terms of protecting the regional economy in the event of a disaster, i.e., an ex-ante evaluation. Our results suggest that any disaster analysis should evaluate the economic impacts of a disaster based on both ex-ante and ex-post criteria.
Forest is a necessary resource for preservation of water supply sources. We analyzed the public policy aimed at forest conservation for preservation of water supply sources with an environmental tax on forest destruction. We supposed the quality of the water depends on the preservation of the water source affected by forest conservation. Furthermore, we assumed that consumption activities of residents have negative external effects on forest conservation. Local governments adopt different financing methods for environment conservation, because they cannot arrive at an agreement on the principle of cost burden. In Toyota city, an additional rate for water is imposed on residents to finance investments for forest conservation and secure high quality water, because all residents are the beneficiaries of the high quality water. It is common for the consumption activities of residents to directly or indirectly destroy the environment through the production activities of firms producing consumption goods. Imposing taxes on consumption is justified by the polluter-pays principle(PPP). In this paper, we examine three schemes to finance the costs of the public investment for forest conservation; (i) general taxes(lump sum tax),(ii) additional rate for the water supply, (iii) consumption taxes. A model of the long-run optimal problems of investments for forest conservation is constructed, where each level of investment is compared according to the financing scheme. The following conclusions were made; (1) all three schemes cannot achieve the optimal resource allocation of consumption goods, water supply and investments for forest conservation, (2) the lump sum taxation scheme achieves an efficient investment for forest protection, but cannot resolve the distortion due to negative external effects of consumption, and (3) the consumption tax scheme can improve the distortion effects of consumption by raising the price of consumption, (4) the consumption tax scheme can achieve the optimal level of consumption. Although we cannot rank each scheme on the basis of its efficiency, it appears the second scheme has merit because people want to protect the forests to secure water resources and are willing to pay the costs.
Revealed preference method is used in policy decision making and many payment vehicles are applied for the evaluation of non-market goods. Especially, the hypothetical new tax is often used and this payment vehicle means a decrease of consumer's disposal income. However, because a policy is enforced by the existing revenue instead of the new tax, we have to decide the desirable cost to be prepared from the existing revenue for the new enterprise without changing disposal income. Therefore, evaluation of relative value between a new and an existing enterprise is necessary. Additionally, a change in public funding from existing revenues does not directly decrease a consumer's disposal income, so the consumer may not be able to evaluate the new enterprise because they do not feel the burden of the expense. This study focuses on bio-ethanol and estimates the appropriate subsidy for domestic production. First, the contingent valuation method was used to estimate additional willingness to pay for domestic bio-fuel with an increased price for gasoline by a decrease of disposal income. Next, to find the relative value of a disposal income and a reallocated tax, the relative value of and gasoline price and subsidies for domestic production of bio-ethanol were estimated by choice modeling and the subsidy for domestic production of bio-ethanol calculated based on these results. Results were as follows: First, the willingness to pay for domestic production of bio-ethanol by the decrease of disposal income was estimated as 3 yen per liter using a contingent valuation survey in Fukuoka Prefecture. Next, the relative value of the disposal income as a increase of gasoline price and the reallocated tax for domestic production was estimated as 0.708 by choice modeling and the subsidy for bio-ethanol production was evaluated as 4.24 yen/liter(=3 yen/liter÷0.708). Also, the marginal ratio of substitute between the subsidy for road construction paid by gasoline tax and the subsidy for domestic production of bio-ethanol was estimated and we found that a consumer's utility increases with public funding for bio-ethanol from existing gasoline tax. A tax revenue of 1 yen per liter is equivalent to a revenue of 6 million yen per year, so a considerable subsidy would be accepted if the nation has the same propensity as Fukuoka residents.
Recently, we are faced with serious concerns related to a rapidly aging population, declining birthrate and decreasing population in Japan. In addition, the structure of big cities versus rural regions in national land and that of urban areas versus rural areas in rural regions are observed. These structures trigger remarkable disparities among regions. In this situation, how to revitalize the regions is a huge problem. In this study, we focus on interactions between regions as one of the most fundamental and important factors for regional revitalization. The aim of this study is to clarify the interaction mechanisms. In order to achieve this aim, interaction models based on the interaction purpose are constructed, because people make a move based on a different behavioral theory for each purpose of interaction. These models are applied to an analysis of interactions in Japan. An interaction model for sightseeing was based on the utility maximization theory. When the utility function was maximized, time constraints were used as a constrained condition. The estimation result of the model was satisfactory and showed that variables related to travel time between regions have a major effect on interactions. In addition, interactions are affected by variables representing the regional attraction of a destination region and the convenience of traffic between the regions. On the other hand, we assumed behavior related to business interactions was based on the profit maximization theory and a production function was used as a constrained condition. In addition, a business trip generation model and an interaction assignment model for business were constructed. Results of the profit maximization model and the business trip generation model clarified that the volume of production and business trip generation influence each another. In addition, business trip generation is affected by the convenience of traffic between regions. It can be said that the interaction model for business reflects the current situation. These results enable us to clarify interaction mechanisms in more detail. Therefore, we can use these models to clarify the effect of infrastructure development on an interaction.
In face of a falling birthrate, aging and population decreases in Japan, the priority for new housing development in the suburbs becomes lower and it has become more important to sustain suburban communities. The aim of this paper is to analyze the trends of aging structure in the suburban community, and clarify the factors for the population change, and examine the factors that make the suburban community sustainable. Especially, the relationship between the aging structure and population change is statistically examined and the tendency of household formation in the suburban communities of Hiroshima City clarified. The stability of age structure and population size in each community is analyzed to examine its sustainability. The relation of indices that show the characteristics of the location such as accessibility to the city and vertical interval, and changes in the population structure of the housing estates are analyzed, and the sustainability of each housing estate examined by location. The major results are summarized as follows: 1) suburban communities where household formation is steady are characterized with a high ratio of owner-occupied houses and location close to the commercial areas, whereas 2) suburban communities with insufficient sustainability where the population is decreasing and aging are located at a place convenient to the city center. Therefore, a comparison between the changes in the population composition and the factors in each housing estate, and a renewal plan for houses in each individual area can be examined in order to sustain suburban communities.
Broadband access services are becoming popular at an increasing rate, especially in developed countries, for various applications including music download and video distribution. However, the number of broadband subscribers remains limited in most developing countries. In view of the enormous benefits of broadband, such as enabling people to comfortably access the Internet and transmit information at a low cost, it is important that its diffusion be encouraged by the government. To ensure effective measures for this, the government should understand the factors that actually contribute to the popularity of broadband services. In this study, the author conducts an empirical analysis using cross-country data to clarify the factors contributing to the diffusion of broadband access. It is found that on the demand side, broadband price, income level (only at the global level), dial-up price (only in developed countries) and users' capability (also only in developed countries) are significant factors. On the supply side, competition in the broadband market (both inter- and intra-modal), availability of existing networks and privatization (only at the global level) are significant factors. Based on these results, the author discusses the policy measures that may help promote the diffusion of broadband access.
Following Beckmann's achievement  (1952), Beckmann and Puu  (1985) presented a new analytical method to study formation of urban configurations in a two dimensional continuous space, focusing on flows of commodities. However, consideration of household and firm locations is not necessarily sufficient, resulting in reconsideration from a new urban economics point of view. Instead, this article introduces bid rent functions of households and firms that are familiar in the new urban economics, and then studies how the results of Beckmann and Puu are modified with the theory of partial differential equations. New findings of this paper include the solution of the model and the equilibrium conditions.
Regional development is driven by many factors, among them are clusters. The role of cluster initiatives in economic and social development is becoming increasingly important. High levels of unemployment and emigration of qualified workforce are severe problems that less developed regions are facing. Therefore various cluster initiatives could be a panacea. Clusters stimulate innovations and contribute to the increase of competitiveness of local economy and individual businesses. Moreover, clusters encourage foreign capital investments. Foreign direct investments are one of the most important factors stimulating economic growth and are crucial to reduction of unemployment. In this paper the authors present the concept and essence of clusters, the concept of foreign direct investments and Polish experiences in attracting foreign capital, and finally the authors attempt to explain the influence of FDI on the labor market.
A disaggregate or multi-sector economic base model is estimated for the nonmetropolitan U.S. in the years 1980, 1990, and 2000. Two very different employment-based data sets are analyzed. One data set includes 196 towns located in four Southwestern states; the other includes 577 micropolitan counties distributed across the entire nation. A disaggregate economic base model, which generates industry-specific multipliers, is shown to be a substantial improvement over the better known aggregate model, which generates a single multiplier. These industry-specific multipliers, which varied quite a lot across the two data sets, exhibited a surprising amount of stability during the 20-year study period. However, the employment multipliers of the somewhat smaller Southwestern towns experienced more longitudinal volatility than those of their larger micropolitan counterparts. Four functional types of sub-metropolitan economies (having different specializations) were identified in both data sets: diversified, industrial, service, and trade. With the diversified group adopted as a benchmark, the other three types of nonmetropolitan economies are shown to have had somewhat different patterns of employment multipliers in the year 2000.
Biological diversity has inherent value and becomes the basis of various ecosystem services that humans assume support their survival. On the other hand, biological diversity is being lost throughout the world, and the conservation of biological diversity is an extreme problem. National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity 2008 Version (Ministry of the Environment, November, 2008) raises “The conservation in an important area and the formation of the ecological network” as one of seven main themes for conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use. As a part of the construction of an ecosystem network, a policy to set “a green corridor” in the national forests was enforced in 2000 by the Forestry Agency. In this study, “The green corridor of Shikoku Mountainous District” (Tokushima/Ehime/Kochi) was selected from the green corridors set in 22 places in Japan for investigation. Local populations of the Asiatic black bear inhabiting the Shikoku mountainous district are listed in the Red Data Book of Ministry of the Environment for fear of extinction and the fear of extinction is on the rise. Distribution of the Asiatic black bear appears to be limited to the Mt. Tsurugi-san area of “The green corridor of Shikoku Mountainous District” and the surrounding area and “The green corridor” is highly associated with the conservation of this population. The current corridor may not be able to network a suitable habitat for securing a minimum viable population size (MVP) of the Asiatic black bear as calculated by the individual base model. In addition, when it thought about building of the ecological network, there were the places to overlap with the natural park and so on in the corridor. It is necessary to set a broad corridor that includes private and communal forests in the area by cooperating with other measures of the natural park or natural conservation area, the sanctuary. However, most of the private and communal forests in this area are economic forests and forestry is a major local industry. An estimate of the expenses and the burdens to push forward this policy must be considered.
The leading industrial sector in Japan has given way to leadership of tertiary industries through progress of Japan's service-oriented and software-oriented economy and consequent transformation into a highly information based society. Japanese regions have endured severe regional disparities in economic growth since the collapse of the bubble economy. The revitalization of local economies has remained a crucial issue confronting Japan's government. An earlier study by the authors applied regional input-output analysis to examine trends in regional disparities of employment growth under Japan's service-oriented and software-oriented economy during 1985-1995. Results of empirical studies revealed that a rapid increase in inter-regional trade in business services and knowledge services was a major factor for regional disparities in employment growth. Although the Kanto region has shown high employment growth under the accumulation of business services and knowledge services, local regions have lost their economic vitality because of a lack of well-developed service industries. This study extends the study period to 1980-2000 and undertakes examination of regional employment growth before and after the bubble economy. Using structural decomposition analysis based on regional input-output, this study identifies factors of regional disparities in employment creation during 1980-1990 and 1990-2000. Results show that declining employment in processing and assembly industries accompanied by sharply increasing export-oriented service industries became a major factor for widening regional disparities after the collapse of the bubble economy.
This paper examines the effectiveness of the rental housing policy that emerged as an issue after passing of the Act on the Promotion of the Construction of Rental Housing in Korea. In particular, we attempt to examine the effectiveness of the government's rental housing policy and to improve the policy to meet the characteristics of demand through empirical research on rental housing users. For this reason, we surveyed potential customers of the government rental housing to clarify the exact demand of customers and propose a reform for the current government rental housing policy. The results of the survey suggest. Firstl, the government should enlarge the size and the number of rooms in government rental housing and improve the quality of the facilities. Second, the government should provide rental housing with long or medium term rent contracts. Third, the government should improve the quality of government rental housing and facilities so the future prosperity of housing will be considered in terms of the surroundings of the housing. These suggestions are expected to address the various demands for housing and improve the effectiveness of the rental housing policy in Korea.
This study offers a new perspective on the debate over long-run regional house price convergence in the UK. In contrast to other studies that proceed at a more aggregated level, this study employs quarterly data for fifty one counties from England, Scotland and Wales. A new pair-wise unit root testing procedure advocated by Pesaran (2007) is employed on all possible bivariate house price differentials. Evidence in favour of the long-run convergence is confirmed where the fraction of rejections exceeds the size of the individual tests.
The Yang He reservoir is an important reservoir used for drinking and agricultural water of Qin Huang Dao in He Bei China. Wastewater from starch processing by a starch noodle factory west of Yang He has been an important reason for pollution since about 1998. Other pollutants include agricultural and domestic drainage. Water quality deterioration in the reservoir has had a major influence on the water supply of the city. The purpose of this study was to investigate the management of the environmental conditions of the reservoir and suggest ways to improve the environment by considering economic development, finance and the water quality of the Yang He reservoir. An environmental-social economic model was formulated and a simulation of the model performed to determine ways for improvement of the water quality and promote sustainable development of the Yang He reservoir. In promoting the environmental policy, the water pollution levels in the region were set from 0% reduction to 6% reduction for the study. A feasible solution was simulated by considering the pollutant reduction, GRP and the total budget. As a result, the best adjustment was with the restriction value set at 6% reduction, and the GRP increased 14.3% during the 10th period. In addition, T-N, T-P and T-COD decreased 9.82%, 11.68% and 15.28%, respectively. This method appears to be applicable to developing countries such as China.
This study aimed to analysis stakeholders associated with rural tourism development by a social network analysis. The study sites and stakeholders were selected through three preliminary studies in Japan. The questionnaire for the survey asked the subjects for demographic background, socioeconomic background and social relation characteristics that included six different social networks (work-interaction network, work-information-seeking network, work-decision making network, work-help network, personal-friends network, and personal help). The results from the social network analysis of respondents showed a significant correlation among the six different social networks. The highest correlation was between the work-information-seeking network and work-decision making network whereas the lowest was between the work-decision making and personal help networks. The reason the correlation between personal networks and work related networks was relatively lower than the correlation between work related networks appears to stem from the Japanese culture. In general, Japanese people do not ask for help from people other than their family members. In this regard, it can be said that their personal relations and work relations rarely overlap. Comparison between the responses of Shikaoi-cho respondents with Shintoku-cho respondents showed very interesting findings. Although there was no significant difference in the perceived successfulness of their rural tourism business, the density of each network among Shikaoi-cho respondents was constantly higher than the density of each network among Shintoku-cho respondents. In other words, the network structure of the rural tourism stockholders in Shikaoi-cho was much denser and more sociable/inclusive than that of Shintoku-cho respondents. Thus, the two communities where rural tourism was perceived successful presented different structural attributes in their social networks. Comparison of the demographic and socioeconomic attributes of Shikaoi-cho respondents and Shintoku-cho respondents showed the six attributes were significantly different. The respondents in Shikaoi-cho showed a higher density in each network, had fewer immigrants, longer length of stay in the community, higher income, higher ratio of income from rural tourism to the gross income, shorter period for running rural tourism business, and stronger motivation for “diversifying income sources” than the respondents in Shintoku-cho. In future studies, it is necessary to first compare a community where rural tourism has succeeded with a community where it has not succeeded. Second, it is useful to conduct studies with international comparisons, Last, researchers need to explore the occurrence of a variety of network structural characteristics in stakeholders of different rural areas despite a similar extent of perceived success in rural tourism development.
Although the birthrate of Niigata Prefecture is relatively high compared to other regions in Japan, the aging problem is still advanced due to the outflow of younger people from the region. Nevertheless, the social mobility of the population can be explained by Tiebout's “voting with one's feet”, meaning that people migrate to a municipality where their preferences for living can be well-satisfied. In other words, regional planning is required to accord the preferences of residents relative to both their current and future residence. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the residents' consciousness about urban development and urban functions by using piece vote data obtained from the questionnaire survey executed by Niigata City Government. It focuses on the difference of residents' consciousness among and within generations. The following conclusions were made. First, the urban functions and the size of the city affect resident's preference for their current residence. The urban functions are strengthened by urban development, and the size of the city is controlled by urban development. Second, the direction is determined by city planning, and preference for the present residence influences the planning and the preferences of future residents. Finally, it is necessary to consider that the residents' consciousness is not determined by age but by life stage, not by occupation but by economic activity, not by sex but by gender, and not by the residential area but by scope of activity and location. Therefore, when implementing city planning, specifying the key factors for consensus building in the region that is behind the attributes becomes critical important.