With recent advances in communications technology, telecommuting appears to be an increasingly practical option for many workers. We developed a theoretical framework to study telecommuting in the city with general equilibrium models originally developed by Fujita (1982) and Ota (1993). In these models, each firm is assumed to interact with all other firms through business communications. We showed that the effects of telecommuting in an equilibrium city depend on the interplay of four effects ; 1) a reduction in costs caused by a decrease in floor space for an office in the city center, 2) additional costs from choosing telecommuting, 3) reduction of commuting costs, and 4) additional costs for the households from choosing telecommuting. This study considered a typical pattern for firms and households that choose telecommuting. We examined under what conditions (on parameters) this land use pattern represents an equilibrium configuration. All firms that adopt telecommuting are located in central areas. Firms that do not choose telecommuting are located near central areas. All workers other than the telecommuters for all firms commute daily from the surrounding residential areas. Telecommuters remain in the suburbs. Consequently, the model is able to explain trends observed in the spatial organization of large cities, that is, working at home in suburban areas. Specifically, the telecommuting rate increases as the fixed costs for telecommuting and the telecommuting cost rate falls. When the population size of the firm continues to increase, the telecommuting rate also increases. This implies that telecommuting happens easily in a large city. We also showed that, depending on parameters, a variety of interesting patterns of metropolitan spatial organization emerge.
Greenery is on the increase with the growth of trees in urban areas. It is important to clarify levels and limiting factors of greenery for satisfaction of the residents. The purpose of this study was to examine the growth of greenery as the percentage of greenery in the field of vision. It is difficult to measure changes in tree height overtime by the ratio of green coverage. Visible greenery is measured by photographs. We can determine the area of vegetation by differences in the wave lengths in two photographs, near-infrared and visible light photos, because chlorophyll absorbs visible light wavelengths and reflects near-infrared light wavelengths. We surveyed housing estates in the present. It was difficult to make long-term observations and surveys from previous years so we made a comparative analysis of a number of areas that differed in the age of development. As a result, the percentage of visible greenery increased where housing estate areas were developed. Visible greenery percentage is affected by the ratios of housing and building areas. In addition, roadside trees or public parks contribute to the percentage of regional visible greenery. We verified that visible greenery is affected by urban land utilization, but the passage of time contributes to greenery more than urban land utilization. At present, green recovery lies in the hands of the growth of greenery in urban areas. Residential estates were developed from around 1960, about 50 years ago, so this period isn't long enough to survey the growth of greenery. We propose that high trees, plant fences, trees planted as a wall or fences that allow people on the street to see private gardens can contribute to greenery in the field of vision.
In this paper, we suppose that pollutants are exhausted during the production process as by-products. Employing a two-country model where environmental quality is regarded as public good and pollution abatement is strategically provided, we analyze the effects of economic growth, technological progress in emissions control and income transfer. Furthermore, we consider these problems in both Cournot and Stackelberg competition cases. Our results can be summarized as follows. First, one country's economic growth leads to production increases, environmental quality improvements and higher welfares in both countries. Second, technological progress in emissions control in one country has a positive impact on domestic production and lowers domestic emissions as well, while domestic environmental quality remains constant. As production increases, the domestic welfare level increases. However, rival country is not influenced. These two results are independent of the type of competition. Third, the intensity of impacts from income transfer differs with the type of competition, but in all cases, the economic effects of income transfer greatly relate to gaps in pollution abatement technologies between countries.
Consumer electronics such as Liquid Crystal Televisions (LCD-TVs) can be purchased at conventional stores or through internet online stores since the late 90's. On the internet, consumers can simultaneously compare prices at online price-comparing sites (e.g., kakaku.com in Japan). Thus, the prices are expected to be lower and less dispersed on the internet. According to a quantitative analysis, the former result is supported but the latter is not. Empirical studies on the existence and persistence of price dispersion among online stores have been done since the late 90's (see Pan et al. 2004). An early study compared online and offline prices (Bailey, 1998) and found that price dispersion among online stores was at least as great as among traditional conventional stores. Baye et al. (2004) studied the online monthly prices of popular consumer electronics products listed at shopper.com and concluded price dispersion is persistent across products and time. Moreover, we found that the online minimum prices of several types of LCD-TVs are more likely to be listed by online shops in Tokyo than in Osaka at kakaku.com. This implies that the online prices are lower in a larger city. Since the paper of Stigler (1961), there are numerous theoretical studies regarding price dispersion. Stigler (1961) investigated the consumer search behavior under given price dispersion. Salop and Stiglitz (1977) consider the equilibrium price dispersion with high and low price pure strategies for uninformed and informed consumers. Varian (1980) introduced the mixed strategy to explain the persistency of price dispersion. These papers mainly studied offline retail markets and supposed there was incomplete information on prices. On the internet, to the contrary, there is no cost to search for the lowest prices. Thus, Smith and Brynjolfsson (2001) claimed that differences in service quality among online stores is the main source of price dispersion. However, Pan et al. (2002) concluded that such differences are not the main source of price dispersion. This paper considers price dispersion in online and offline markets from a geographical aspect. We investigated the linear online rural market with two big cities lacated on the edges. The access costs, which include access fees, computer skills, and set-up costs to use the Internet infrastructure such as a home computer, credit card, were assumed to be heterogeneous among consumers. We showed that the price dispersion among online stores is larger than among the offline stores, and that the larger the population in the city, the lower the equilibrium prices. The key source of price dispersion is transportation costs, internet access fees, and differences in the population.
The concept of sustainability has given rise to questions about what it is supposed to mean: the sustainability of what, for whom, for how long, and why ? For instance, in one case sustainability can be achieved in a region that is composed of an urban area and a rural area as a whole, but residents in the rural area may be in danger of not only risking their sustainability but also their lives through floods and ecological destruction at the waterside. Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) has been widely used as an evaluation tool for public policymaking. However, although CBA is adequate to evaluate the efficiency of the policy in question, it does not take into account the equity issues and sustainability aspects of that policy. Therefore, multicriteria methods which include participatory multicriteria methods have been proposed to evaluate certain policies. In this paper, we focus on sustainability, survivability and participation along the adaptive waterside environmental management process which is briefly shown by the following process: the differences in both areas are clarified by a social survey, then these results are evaluated with the aid of a multicriteria analysis and if there are conflicts between areas a conflicts analysis is executed. A social survey of the valuation of a waterside environment and daily life is first conducted among the residents in both areas, i.e., upper river and down river areas, along the Kamo river in Kyoto City. Accordingly, residents in both areas can participate in providing information for the planning process by a social survey. By analyzing the results, elements of both sustainability and survivability for both areas are derived. Thus, we can take into account sustainability and survivability that include different kinds of elements in the waterside environmental management.
Assessing and quantifying the sources of agricultural productivity across developing countries is the prime objective of this paper. Thirty-one low and lower middle income countries from the Asian and African continents were selected for the study. The results show that variations in land productivity are well explained by variations in labor and fertilizer resources. However, variations in tractor and livestock inputs have low impacts on the performance of land productivity. The average annual malmquist factor productivity index is positive. Factor productivity was further divided into two components; technical change and efficiency change indices. The results show the technical change index is higher than the technical efficiency change index. The trends in productivity factors indicate convergence across developing countries after 1990.
Knowledge drives the growth of nations and regions in a competitive space-economy. Hence, we would expect a strong correlation between investments in knowledge and learning processes, on the one hand, and productivity increases, on the other. However, the empirical evidence shows consistent discrepancies between knowledge inputs and economic performance across geographical units. This paper addresses this issue from a regional perspective, by highlighting theoretically and empirically the strategic importance played by social capital in mediating between knowledge production and regional growth. The main proposition of the paper, subject to empirical testing, is that social capital amplifies the contribution of knowledge by determining the formation of increasing returns to knowledge exploitation.
This paper investigates the cost properties of a sample of Japanese terrestrial broadcasting firms. The Japanese broadcasting market is just starting to change to digitalized services. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC)) announced that digital broadcasting service would start from July 1st 2011. Several large-scale broadcasters began digital broadcasting services in December 2003, while small-scale broadcasters are now required to construct their network facilities for digital services. The investments for this digitalization impose a large financial burden especially on small-scale broadcasters. For this reason, the Ministry (MIC) decided in March 2004 to permit mergers between small-scale broadcasters facing financial difficulties. Merger of broadcasters may be an effective way to improve productivity, but merger will reduce localism, the goal of Japanese broadcasting policy. It is very important to analyze the cost structure of Japanese terrestrial broadcasters before a big stream of mergers. The purpose of this study was to investigate scale and scope economies in the Japanese terrestrial broadcasting market. We employed a composite cost function approach to a set of firms over the period from 2003 to 2007. The composite cost function combines the log-quadratic input price structure of the translog cost function with the quadratic structure for multiple outputs. We assumed Japanese broadcasters use labor and capital as inputs to produce both television and radio services as outputs. Our main results were as follows. First, networks do not have overall economies of scale, but local stations have overall economies of scale. Second, both networks and local stations have product-specific returns to scale. Third, while networks do not have economies of scope, local stations exhibit economies of scope.
In this paper, the economic impacts of technological innovations, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, in the automobile industry in Japan are examined. The automobile industry has developed environmentally friendly vehicles in the face of global warming issues and the exhaustion of petroleum. Conventional automobiles that use gasoline and diesel oil don't meet the demands of the future society. New generation automobiles will become popular in several decades so the industrial structure will be affected by the appearance of these automobiles. Since the Japanese economy strongly depends on the automobile industry, the appearance of technological innovations in the automobile industry influence not only the automobile industry but other industries. Especially industrial regions where the automobile firms are concentrated are affected by new technology. In this study, we explored the economic impacts of shifting the production system in the automobile industry from the conventional automobile technology to electric and hybrid vehicle technology using national and multi-regional input-output models. Shifting the production system by new technology was simulated by changing parameters of the input coefficients in the industry. This study showed the production of hybrid vehicles has a positive impact, but the production of electric vehicles has a negative impact on the Japanese economy when compared with the production of conventional vehicles. At the regional level, we observed that the production of hybrid vehicles has a negative impact on the economy of the Chubu region, but has a positive impact on other regions. On the other hand, the electric vehicle brings a positive impact to Tohoku, Kinki, Shikoku and Kyusyu regions. Finally, the results of this study suggest that the appearance of new environmentally friendly vehicles brings different economic benefits to each regional economy in Japan.
Energy risk is an important problem in Japan because Japan lacks natural energy resources such as oil and gas. Wind power generation is expected to be one main future energy for Japan because it is renewable energy (environmentally burden free) and does not require import (energy security free). To expand wind energy in Japan, a new wind power generation entrepreneur should enter into business where a profitable model can be achieved. In this study, we investigated the current Japanese wind energy business style. There are few major corporate groups in the wind energy business that account for 60 percent or more of the market. The actual selling price of electricity to a power company was investigated with a questionnaire and the current profit is discussed. It is difficult with the present selling price of the market to raise earnings. The efficiency of businesses should be improved by making production large scale. Recently, the expansion of wind energy is remarkable worldwide, but, expansion is sluggish in Japan because of various factors. Problems exist with procuring sites, policies, selling price, quality of electricity, predicting the premeditated supply and other factors. In the near future, offshore wind energy is expected to be a major renewable energy. Offshore wind energy is weak because of the initial costs. However, in Europe, offshore wind energy plants are increasing, and the initial costs are similar to land wind energy plants, so the business profits may be higher for offshore wind energy. A new wind energy business model is expected, not only in terms of policies, but the original profitability should become high and expand rapidly throughout the world.
This paper discusses the structure of regional factors with social capital (SC) that affect low carbon travel behavior in local cities. Nowadays, it is necessary to develop low carbon travel behavior that uses public transportation, bicycles and walking to reduce green house gas emissions. Although compact city planning and transportation network building are known as useful tools, city governments don't have enough budgets and authorization to carry out these programs. Therefore it is important that they use unique public awareness to develop low carbon travel behavior. This study focuses on SC to show unique public awareness of each region. The definition of SC used in this paper is from Putnam (1993) “SC refers to features of social organization, such as trust, norms, and networks that can improve the efficiency of society by facilitating coordinated actions.” The case study city was Hakodate City, Japan. How each factor affects low carbon travel behavior was analyzed by a logit model, and the structures of the factors were analyzed by a covariance structure analysis. As a result it was recognized that the influence of SC affects low carbon travel behavior so that it becomes stronger in the middle and outer regions of the city. Moreover, the networks of broad areas influence car ownership in the middle region, and the networks of narrow areas influence car ownership in the outer region of the city.
In this paper, we analyze changes in determinants of internal long-distance elderly migration using 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000 National Censuses. First, we show the characteristics of elderly migration. Percent of elderly migrants has risen gradually from 3.0% (1960) to 10.3% (2000). Upheaval in migration rate at elderly ages with more aged people having higher migration rates, confirmed for 1970 and clearly seen in 1990 and 2000. Migration of young old has changed from concentration toward major metropolitan areas to that toward to rural areas. On the other hand, migration of old old continues to concentrate to major metropolitan areas. The adjusted gravity model and net migration model were used in this paper. Regression analysis were used for all cases. Dependent variables were numbers of migrants (AG model) and net migration rates (NM model). Explanatory variables were (1) index of potential migration living together with/near children's household (CHI), (2) index of potential return migration to 1940 living place (RMI), (3) index of amenity (average temperature: AT), (4) number of doctors per area (DA), (5) consumer price index (PI), (6) index of potential return migration to birth places (BPI), (7) number of inmates of nursing home per population (NH). Area divisions were 10 areas and 46 prefectures. The main results of our paper are summarized as follows. (1) Only CHI had strong explanatory power from 1960 to 2000 for both young old and old old. (2) DA had strong explanatory power in 1960 for young old and from 1980 to 2000 for old old. (3) For young old RMI, DA, AT and CHI had strong explanatory power in 1960, and the determinants of migration for young old changed to AT, PI, BPI and CHI in 1990 and to PI, BPI, NH and CHI in 2000. (4) For old old the same determinant of migration for forty years was only CHI, but AT and DA had explanatory power from 1980 to 2000.
In this study, we use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to examine the effects of expanding grain-based fuel ethanol production on Chinese economy. The results show that reasonable development of grain-based fuel ethanol will accelerate China's economy, improve rural household income, and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. However, expanding the production of grain-based fuel ethanol will also stimulate consumer price index (CPI), increase the domestic prices of agricultural products, reduce the output and supply of agricultural products other than grains, and decrease the disposable income and welfare of urban households, resulting in an excessive concentration of agricultural labor and capital input on grains.
Later than in the West, Compact City Policy recently has been discussed in Japan for an aging society as a city policy that is environmentally friendly, convenient especially to the aged with less access to private transportation and economical to administrative entities. However, less discussion is held on risks of introducing a Compact City Policy on life with drastic changes social environment (ex. social ties). Moreover, discussions in Japan should be unique inasmuch as the Japanese lifestyle differs from that of the West. As the first step to identify risks in Japan, this study aimed to predict impacts of a Compact City Policy on social ties and satisfaction with friends according to urbanism patterns with open large-scale volume data (mainly, JGSS-2006[Japanese General Social Surveys]). To analyze the impacts, we divided social ties into three categories: participation in community activities, belonging to organizations and frequency of meals with friends. Subsequently, we clustered the ‘City Population Scale' identified by prefecture and the population scales of cities into three groups according to ‘Urbanism Pattern Indices', namely proximity between house and workplace, accumulation of urban function of commerce and medical services, and transportation less dependent on private cars, to determine the characteristics of a compact city. The preliminary study revealed that ‘City Population Scale' divided by the above indices shows common geographical features in each cluster. In the main analysis, this study not only found different impacts of urbanism patterns on social ties and the satisfaction with friends, but different impacts of social ties on the satisfaction with friends according to urbanism patterns. These impacts varied according to personal attributions. This study suggests need for a risk mitigation policy after the introduction of the Compact City Policy for each cluster. In conclusion, the study suggests risk management policy is necessary for the social environment after introduction of the Compact City Policy, and finally proposes that large-scale volume data contributes to a more detailed tailor-made analysis as shown by this study.
The aim of this study was to examine the regional labor market and clarify policy implications by analyzing labor supply and demand trends in each region of Japan. This examination was carried out with a proportionate econometric model. This model is constructed by considering original variables of the industrial structure and the wealth gap. The industrial, structural analysis used the shift share analysis. After the labor supply and demand differences in 47 administrative divisions were estimated, the divisions were compared with an industrial structural analysis. The following results were clarified ; (i) As a result of presuming the coefficient of the labor demand function, it was determined that the coefficient of corporate production grows greater than the nominal wage rate, corporate production is greatly controlled by labor demand, coefficient of the tertiary industry is large in the specialization coefficient, and the service industry leads in labor demand. In addition, the influence of Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the largest. On the other hand, the coefficient of wealth gap (WD) between regions is comparatively small, and supply of labor between regions is not controlled easily by wealth gap (WD). (ii) The trend of labor supply and demand differences from 1990 to 2002 can be classified into the following three groups. The first group rapidly expanded supply and demand differences in such regions as Chiba Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture. The second group showed a comparatively calm expansion of supply and demand differences in such regions as Toyama Prefecture, Fukui Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture. The third group showed an intermediate tendency of expansion as compared with the first and second groups in such regions as Yamagata Prefecture, Ishikawa Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture. (iii) As a result of analyzing the shift in shares of the 47 administrative divisions, we determined that changes in the number of employment factors from 1990 to 2000 during the recession period was due to an industrial structural factor, and the negative factor of the secondary industry greatly influenced the changes. (iv) From 1990 to 2002, the expansion of the labor supply and demand difference was low and employment increased by the original regional factor in such regions as Toyama Prefecture, Fukui Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture.
Environmental problems are becoming worse, and increase in the movement of people is also causing concerns. However, the change of transport activities is slow, the unnecessary use of cars has not adequately decreased and the optimum conditions of transport activities are not satisfied from a viewpoint of mobility and accessibility. An intermodal transport policy for highway buses and city railroads is necessary to effectively use the social infrastructures in neighboring cities where various transportation options exist. We must change from cars to use of public transit. However, the convenience of transfer to highway buses and city railroads can not be clearly incorporated. In this study, to plan and perform an intermodal transport policy in regional public transportation planning, we quantitatively verified the intermodal transport policy for the construction of a transportation network system connecting the highway and the city railroads in neighboring cities at the planning stage. Specifically, we investigated the various factors affecting the transport activities of the inhabitants of Kameoka in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan along the Kyoto Jyukan Highway. A questionnaire based on this area was used to analyze the transport activities of the inhabitants and their consciousness about the intermodal transport policy. We constructed a traffic choice model based on an intermodal transport policy that connects highway buses and city railroads (Park and Bus Rail Ride) to the present transport system and estimated the shift in transport activities with a new traffic mode in this area. In addition, we also conducted a resident questionnaire on issues such as parking, railroads, and buses to clarify the incentives used in the selection of mode of transportation. The results of this evaluation confirm the importance of intermodal frames and help to clarify the impact of the traffic behavior of people.
This paper pays attention to problems of measuring regional economic impacts of opening an expressway with an attitude survey of enterprises. Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway is a national expressway linking Aichi and Gifu Prefectures to Toyama Prefecture. On July 5, 2008, the last section between Hida-Kiyomi and Shirakawa-go (a famous World Heritage Site) officially opened. This paper examines business factors and regional factors expected by enterprise managers in six prefectures (Gifu, Aichi, Shizuoka, Fukui, Ishikawa and Toyama Prefectures), and develops a consciousness structure model for the effect of opening the expressway by factor analysis and covariance structural analysis. The results of the analyses are summarized as follows. First, factor analysis showed that measuring economic impacts of opening the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway with an attitude survey of enterprises isolated two factors that explain the “effects on regional economy” and “effects on enterprises”. Second, we estimated the subconscious structural model of the enterprises in the six prefectures. Three concepts, “effects on regional economy”, “effects on enterprise” and “effects on regional employment” were estimated in the model from several measured variables that were predicted to be latent variables. Third, we measured the economic impacts of opening the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway on each prefecture by a covariance structural analysis. The effects on regional economy impacted Gifu and Toyama Prefectures, and the effects on enterprises impacted Ishikawa and Fukui Prefectures. The level of the effects on regional economy and enterprises of each prefecture fluctuate if the interchange is contiguous to the area.
The purpose of this study was to survey the International Solidarity Levy (ISL) and examine its effect on Development Funds. Globalization of economic activities brings about not only benefits but also much friction such as disparity in income distribution, financial crisis caused by speculative money and environmental issues. Prompt action must be taken to overcome these problems. Various groups offer proposals to overcome these global issues, including the fair trade movement, developmental aid and the Tobin tax. The aim of the Tobin tax has changed from a stabilization policy for fluctuations in currencies to a source of revenue for development. Tobin tax was proposed as a Currency Transaction Tax (CTT) to solve the financial crisis caused by speculative money. After 30 years, the Tobin tax revenue was seen as developmental funds, and regarded as a Currency Transmission Development Levy (CTDL). In 2002, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and some NGO groups recognized the Tobin tax as an International Solidarity Levy (ISL), and proposed to use it to overcome poverty problems. To accomplish this objective, many questions must be answered. Who should be the tax payer ? For what should tax be imposed ? Who should collect tax ? Who should be the policy maker ?