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Social Indicators Research (2005) 74: 549572 DOI 10.


Springer 2005



(Accepted 20 December 2004)

ABSTRACT. Do cities have an optimal size? In seeking to answer this question, various theories, including Optimal City Size Theory, the supply-oriented dynamic approach and the city network paradigm, have been forwarded that considered a citys population size as a determinant of location costs and benets. However, the generalised growth in wealth that has been experienced over the last 50 years in developed countries has changed what have traditionally been seen as mans needs. Thus, Ingleharts post-materialist approach and Maslows theory of human needs force us to re-examine the traditional costs and benets of cities. Here, we assume that costs and benets enter the utility function of households through the quality of life concept. The relation between the constituents of quality of life and traditional and new theories of city size are considered here. Finally, we test these relations empirically in a specic dynamic, local framework: the city of Barcelona (Spain) in the period 19912000.

INTRODUCTION Economic studies have long been concerned with seeking to understand why people prefer living in cities (Christaller, 1933; Losch, 1940; von Thunen, 1826), although until Alonso (1964) no systematic micro-economic analysis of the question had been undertaken. Today, some three billion people worldwide live in an urban centre (a population of more than 1000 people) and by 2030 that number is set to increase to ve billion. Another clear indicator of this phenomenon is that the percentage of people living in cities in North America, South America, Europe, and Japan stands at between 75 and 85%. There are, currently, 17 megacities around the globe: 11 of which are located in Asia, while the ones experiencing the most rapid growth are located in the tropics. The United Nations Population Division predicts the addition of four new megacities to this total by 2015, namely Tianjin, Istanbul, Cairo, and Lagos. According to



forecasts from the World Resources Institute (1994), the percentage of people living in cities is expected to rise even further in the forthcoming decades. People tend to concentrate in urban areas as they seek to satisfy their needs, and territorially speaking this can be best achieved by living in cities. In classic economics, the location of an individuals residence is studied in a static framework, in which the structure of the city is linear and where there is just one centre (the central business district). In this traditional model, urban size is considered to be the result of the equilibrium between production benets and location costs. As these benets and costs are, by denition, the same for all cities, every urban centre should be the same size. In taking this classical analysis a stage further, Henderson (1985) pointed out that cities produce dierent goods according to their size, which gives rise to externalities. As a result, dierent urban sizes develop reecting these externalities related to the higher productivity that the agents enjoy by being nearer to other producers or other market agents. The inhabitants of larger cities enjoy additional benets as a consequence of being resident there. However, there are certain amenities that are aected negatively as urban size increases: lower levels of environmental quality and increasing congestion, among others. Here, again, an equilibrium between benets and costs means that there is an optimal urban size. It should be noted that increasing city size contradicts optimal city size theory, which holds that the advantages of agglomeration are weakened as a citys physical dimensions expand. According to this theory, medium-sized towns can be expected to grow in size, since the advantages associated with their physical dimensions are still greater than their location costs. Richardson (1972) called this into question, arguing that there are other determinants inuencing urban agglomeration economies, in addition to physical size. This criticism was incorporated in Capello and Camagni (2000), who assumed: (a) the inuence of a citys physical size on its optimal size; but also took into consideration (b) the neoclassical and Christallerian city, complemented with the supply-oriented dynamic approach (Camagni et al., 1989), when analysing the dierent functions of each city, and (c) the network city paradigm (Camagni, 1993; Camagni and de Blasio, 1993) when seeking to explain why small or medium-sized cities might have higher-order functions.1



Here, also, we incorporate all three approaches, in particular the fact that a citys benets and costs are inuenced by its size. However, we recognise that this representation is simplistic, as many other forces have a role to play. In order to obtain a holistic view, we consider a key concept: quality of life. Theoretically, we understand that all inhabitants in a region choose where they will live by seeking to maximise utility, a function in which the concept of quality of life is explicitly included (Giannias et al., 1999; Clark et al., 1988). In building a theoretical framework for this study, we explain the concept of quality of life in terms of Maslows theory of human needs. This leads to a reformulation of the way in which amenities and disamenities are considered in order to test the eect of city size. Finally, our objective is to test the inuence of the components of quality of life on the city size theory in a local framework. Thus, we assume that city size is related to ows of migration, and that these occur more frequently within metropolitan areas than between them. In a relatively short period of time lets say 10 years a smaller territorial area would be more appropriate. Moreover, in the local framework of Spain, local migration is much more frequent than long distance ows, although clearly the critical factors that inuence these movements are not the same as those inuencing movements between metropolitan areas. This said, however, our procedure is not invalidated, but rather enables us to conduct our future studies in a range of other territorial dimensions. In any case, we assume that our analysis do not pretend to analyze city growth in the world, and that our estimates are strictly limited to Barcelona and similar locales. In order to strengthen the territorial scope of our analysis, two contrary economic forces can be considered to be operating spatially: relative advantage and absolute advantage. The former, a frequent assumption in an international framework, is important when labour is not mobile and when parity between currencies can uctuate. In a national framework, however, these two factors are considered unimportant, and as such, the absolute advantage takes on greater signicance. Yet, migration between metropolitan areas is not a common phenomenon in the case of Spain, where various scal mechanisms operating at the national level mean that the absolute advantages of the regions are eliminated. Consequently, the importance of absolute advantage is much more marked at the local than at the regional level.



Thus, the main objectives of this study are : to incorporate quality of life theory within the relationship of amenities and disamenities that inuence city size; to test this empirically within a local framework

CITY SIZE, AMENITIES AND DISAMENITIES, AND QUALITY OF LIFE As discussed above, urban size can be seen as being the result of market forces that seek to maximise utility levels for residents and prots for rms. In the optimal city size theory, optimal size is computed as the result of maximum dierence between a location cost curve and the aggregate agglomeration advantage curve (Figure 1). Both utility and prots are aected by a diverse set of conicting amenities and disamenities. If the equilibrium between them is higher than that in other locations, reasonable individuals will choose to live there. By contrast, if this equilibrium is negative or lower than that in other locations, people will move out. This is the mechanism underlying the growth or decline of a city. It may be the case that a city has benet curves due to their function in the territorial system (Figure 2, depicts the neoclassical supply-oriented dynamic approach). Thus, it can be seen that size inuences the number of amenities and disamenities in a city, which in turn inuences city size. Similarly, it can be seen that every cost or benet may be characterised by an optimal point in relation to city size. On just this issue, Burnell and

B, C Costs Benefits

Figure 1. The optimal city size theory.


Bi, C Costs B3


B2 B1

Figure 2. Neoclassical supply-oriented dynamic approach.

Galster (1992) raise an interesting question: At what population may the disamenities of large size begin to outweigh the productivity advantages?. This questions has typically been addressed by regressing dierent measurements of benets and costs on linear, or more complex, representations of city size: Costs f Size, Other factors Benefits f Size, Other factors 1 2

It should be noted that these costs and benets have traditionally been considered as economic factors with undoubted signicance at the territorial level. Yet, non-economic factors are also important in the making of decisions concerning location. Thus, it can be seen that many advanced industrial societies have been able to increase their level of material well-being dramatically. This has given rise to the need to take into consideration post-materialist values, which view economic factors merely in relative terms within a much more complex vision of what drives peoples decision making (Inglehart, 1990)2. Thus, economic factors, such as distance from the central business district, may simply be another factor that needs to be taken into consideration when a household is pondering where to locate its residence. It is at this juncture, and in order to be able to comprehend fully the denition of quality of life, that the concept of human needs should be introduced. Thus, we can make an assumption: man is constantly striving to better himself, which assumes that certain needs have already been satised as a basis for seeking to satisfy other needs. And these new



social needs have to be interpreted as a new means of satisfying the eternal needs we face in a new environment. Finally, the doubt remains, however: Do these needs really include everything that we express as needs? Maslows (1975) theory of human needs identies ve dierent kinds of needs, ordered from the objective to the subjective: (1) physiologic needs, (2) health and security, (3) ownership and love, (4) the need to be loved, and (5) self-realisation. In line with this theory, once we have satised the more basic, objective needs, we are then ready to try to full our more spiritual needs. However, the linear nature that Maslow gives to his classication has been called into question by more than one author (Doyal and Gough, 1994), while some have sought to classify needs in line with Marxist thinking (Heller, 1978), and others have forwarded their own classications. Thus, there is no consensus concerning the nature, or the denition, of human needs. Therefore, following Royuela and Surinach (2003), here, we take for granted the fact that if mans intention is to optimise these needs, we should be concerned with considering the overall number of needs. It is here where the concept of quality of life arises. Following Liu (1978), we understand quality of life in its social sense, that is: The optimal level of quality of life is produced only by combining both the physical and psychological inputs (). Therefore, the quality of life that each individual perceives is assumed to be directly dependent on his capability constraints to exchange and to acquire, while the major concern for a society is how to improve an individuals capability by shifting the constraint curve outward to the right. Additionally, following Dasgupta and Weale (1992), quality of life not only considers the constituents of well-being (health, welfare, freedom of choice, basic liberties) but also the determinants of well-being (availability of food, clothing, potable water, education facilities, health care and income in general). Thus, social welfare is not only considered from the perspective of each individual but also from that of society seen as a collective group; the opportunities enjoyed by this group are at least as important as those enjoyed by the individual. Quality of life is a multidimensional concept. According to Wish (1986), there may be many vectors to consider, and we will need to study all of them if we are to obtain a global denition of the quality



of life. On the basis of this assumption, instead of computing functions (1) to (2), we are concerned with the following function: Quality of Life Component i f Size, Other factors 3 where the Quality of Life Component i includes all the constituents of quality of life. The variables denoted as Other factors are those that enable dierent functions to be taken into consideration for each city and the network city paradigm. Thus, as a rst step, we understand that all the constituents of quality of life may be related to city size or city function theories. Clearly, this is not always the case. Climate, for instance, can be seen as a constituent of well being, but it is not directly dependent on city size or city function or the place of the city in the global network. Below, we test the relation between each constituent of quality of life and these theoretical variables. CITY SIZE, AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE BARCELONA METROPOLITAN AREA The Local Environment As Wish (1986) points out, even within the city, especially in the largest urban areas, there are acute dierences. We analyse these in a local framework, within municipalities. Our study is undertaken in the province of Barcelona (NUTS III in the European administrative classication, and the largest province in the region of Catalonia, NUTS II), which is one of Spains most developed regions, located in the north-east of the country, and bordering France. The province of Barcelona had a population of 4,805,927 inhabitants in 2001 and is, together with Madrid, Spains most populated and urbanised province. It has 314 municipalities, organised in 11 administrative groups, named comarques. These municipalities are the basic unit of measurement in our study. Describing territorial groups is a key element in this study; elsewhere, we have used dierent territorial groups dened as urban systems and urban subsystems (see Art s et al., 1999). These aggregations were developed following commuting and service area criteria. Our local framework of 314 municipalities can be grouped in three territorial dimensions: urban subsystems (of which there are 48), urban systems (24), and comarques (11). The 24 urban systems and their



subsystems (if the former can be partitioned), together with their respective sizes, are shown in Table I. Figure 3 also shows the distribution of the population among these urban subsystems, giving a Gini index of 0.54. This indicates that a substantial part of the total population is concentrated in a small number of municipalities: the city of Barcelona accounted for 31% of the total population of the province in the 2001 census. There are also dierences in terms of urban development. Some systems and subsystems (those nearest Barcelona) are best described as urban areas or simply cities, while others (those furthest from Barcelona) can be considered rural areas. The province is similar to other areas in Europe, in which a large city has a relatively wide area of inuence: its suburbs, its surrounding towns, industrial clusters, and so on. The main characteristic used in dening the systems or subsystems is not their homogeneity in terms of size, but the fact that they clearly form separate areas on the basis of commuting and services criteria.3 The Data In Royuela et al. (2003), the quality of life of these 314 municipalities lying in the Barcelona province is analysed. Here we use the same extensive database4, and 18 basic quality of life components (see Table II). In the aforementioned study, a weighted (a priori) arithmetic average index of partial indicators is developed, which expresses the relative standardised position of each individual (municipality, subsystem or system) having combined the variability of all the variables with a Paasche-type temporal aggregation. Here, rather than focusing on the composite index, we deal with its constituents and determinants. The 18 indices are constructed on the basis of a number of basic variables, weighted in accordance with the opinions of policymakers (as in Drewnowski, 1974). This database refers to the period between 1991 and 2000. Finally we have to mention that several important dimensions of quality of life (such as crime) are not considered here due to the lack of complete data for all municipalities. We also assume that there are not subjective measurements of well being. These factors would improve without any doubt our database and consequently our nal results. The function of each city was controlled using a dummy variable equal to 1 for cities that provide a minimum level of basic services,



TABLE I List of urban systems and subsystems within the Barcelona province Urban systems (and their subsystems where the former are divisible) ` System of IAlt Penedes Subsystem of Sant Sadurn Subsystem of Vilafranca System of IAnoia System of Bages Subsystem of Manresa Subsystem of Bages Nord System of Baix Llobregat Nord Subsystem of Esparraguera-Olesa Subsystem of Martorell Subsystem of Sant Andreu de la Barca System of Baix Montseny System of Barcelona ` System of Bergueda System of Besos Subsystem of Badalona ` ` Subsystem of Sant Adria del Besos Subsystem of Masnou Subsystem of Santa Coloma de Gramenet System of Cerdanyola, Montcada i Ripollet Subsystem of Cerdanyola Subsystem of Montcada i Reixac Subsystem of Ripollet ` System of Cornella System of Delta del Llobregat ` Subsystem of Gava Subsystem of Castelldefels Subsystem of Viladecans System of Garraf System of Granollers Subsystem of Pla de Granollers Subsystem of Congost System of Maresme Nord Subsystem of la Riera de Calella Subsystem of la Tordera System of Maresme Sud Subsystem of la Riera dArenys Subsystem of Mataro ` Subsystem of la Riera de Premia System of Mollet-Parets Sistem of Osona Subsystem of Osona Nord Size (1996 inhabitants) 73,196 14,093 59,103 86,964 152,586 122,895 29,691 123,778 31,864 73,582 18,332 22,792 1,508,805 38,606 413,106 231,514 33,361 25,056 123,175 106,474 50,503 27,068 28,903 82,490 135,310 41,090 38,509 55,711 90,435 173,168 159,659 13,509 59,537 33,843 25,694 213,771 28,799 145,570 39,402 70,331 122,923 19,422 Number of municipalities 27 4 23 33 35 27 8 12 3 8 1 9 1 31 8 4 1 2 1 3 1 1 1 1 5 2 1 2 6 23 19 4 7 4 3 18 5 10 3 10 51 9



TABLE I Continued Urban systems (and their subsystems where the former are divisible) Subsystem of Vic Subsystem of Manlleu System of El Prat de Llobregat System of la Riera de Caldes System of Rub - Sant Cugat Subsystem of Rub Subsystem of Sant Cugat System of Sabadell ` ` Subsystem of Barbera del Valles Subsystem of Sabadell Subsystem of Castellar System of Sant Boi System of Terrassa System of la Vall Baixa de Llobregat Subsystem of Esplugues i Sant Just Subsystem of Sant Feliu de Llobregat Subsystem of lHospitalet Subsystem of Molins Subsystem of Sant Joan Desp Source: Art s et al. (1999). Size (1996 inhabitants) 78,299 25,202 63,255 29,193 101,295 54,085 47,210 283,954 42,542 223,530 17,822 84,477 177,824 415,430 60,116 35,797 255,050 37,662 26,805 Number of municipalities 36 6 1 7 2 1 1 10 2 6 2 3 6 9 2 1 1 4 1

such as health and education services. Two dierent levels of higher function cities were controlled. Thus, we selected 48 as basic functional cities, with 24 as central cities. These dummies were considered as being cumulative so that we might take into consideration a threshold eect. Finally, the network city paradigm was modelled using an indicator of installed telephone cells in 1996, as in Capello and Camagni (2000). We believe that in this particular year it would
Number of subsystems
20 15 10 5 0
10-25 25-40 40-75 75-150 150-250 +250

Thousands inhabitants

Figure 3. Population distribution among subsystems.



TABLE II Quality of life components and their variables WI= Wealth index
+ per capita available family wealth + Average tax return per taxpayer + Average tax paid per taxpayer + per capita value added + Value added growth in last ve years LI= Labour index + Labour activity rate + Rate of unemployment + Gini Index of economic activity concentration

) GI of workers (15 sectors) ) GI of social security contributors (10 sectors)

+ Labour formation index

+ Number of classes

+ Number of students

ELI= Educational level index + Average no of years studied per person MotI = Motorization index + Number of vehicles per 1000 inhabitants DI = Demographic index ) Mortality rate + Birth rate + Average age level index

) Average age level in the municipality ) Average age level in the comarque
HAI= Housing access index + Rate of house rental + No of houses completed last year per 1000 inhabitants + Rate of new subsidised houses ) House price index in the largest city in the system MigrI= Migration index + Rate of immigration in the municipality + Rate of immigration in the comarque + Population growth of the municipality SII= Sex inequality index + Sex inequality in education levels + Sex inequality in education labour activity OCI= Obligatory commuting index + Outside commuting index + 1-rate of workers who commute to the Barcelona urban area + 1-rate of students who commute to the Barcelona urban area+ Distance from the nearest capital (as service centre) CongI= Congestion index) Automobile density

SOASI= Social and old age services index + Number of old-age residences per 1000 old age inhabitants + Number of old-age cultural centres per 1000 old age inhabitants
+ Number of old-age day residences per 1000 old age inhabitants



TABLE II Continued HC= Housing characteristics

+ Index of housing conditions + Houses size per inhabitant + Rate of one-family houses + Housing services index (water, phone, etc.) PTI= Public transport index ) 1-Rate of public transport users among workers ) 1-Rate of public transport users among students + Train services + Number of urban buses per potential users EFI= Educational facilities index

+ Educational services index

+ Pre-school school units + High school units + Primary school units + Special education units

+ Students per school unit index ) Pre-school school ) Primary school ) High school
+ University index

+ University courses per 10,000 inhabitants between 19 and 24 + Universitys diversity of supply
HFI= Health facilities index + Pharmacies per 1000 inhabitants + Hospitals per 1000 inhabitants + Hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants + Outpatients health centers + Number of workers in the health sector per 1000 inhabitants CEI= Climate and environment index Environment index

+ Air quality index in Catalonia

Climate index

) Yearly temperature range + Average temperature

CFMMI= Cultural facilities and municipal media index Cultural facilities index + Theatres and theatre diversity + Museums and museum diversity

+ + + +

Bookshops and bookshop diversity Municipal archives and municipal archive diversity Cinemas and cinema diversity Art galleries

+ Sport centres and sport centre diversity



TABLE II Continued Municipal media index + Written media + TV and radio + Municipal bulletins
MFSI= Municipal nancial state index ) Debt: payable passive/total active ) Taxes over total revenues ) Taxes per capita

Source: Royuela et al. (2003).

have been a good indicator of the network paradigm. The basic descriptive statistics of all these variables are shown in Tables III and IV. The Estimation Results Using this data, we then proceeded to compute equation (3) for each constituent of quality of life. The functional form considered was a translog function so that we could also consider cross-eects between the key variables: Quality of Life Component i g a1 Size a2 Function 1 a3 Network b1 (1/2)Size2 b2 Function 2 b3 (1/2) Network2 d1 Size*Function 1 d2 Size*Function 2 d3 Size*Network d4 Network*Function 1 d5 Network*Function 2 et Where Function )1 and Function )2 are two dummy variables related to basic functional cities and central cities, respectively; Network describes the number of telephone cells installed per 100 inhabitants in 1996; Size refers to the municipal population in 1996; and the Quality of Life Component i is the measure that corresponds to each quality of life dimension identied by Royuela et al. (2003). All variables (except these dummies) are measured in logs. The estimation took into consideration the possibility of heteroscedasticity given the wide range of in size of the municipalities. Thus, the weighted least-squares method was used in order to estimate the


TABLE III Descriptive statistics (1)





Telxha WI

1996 32,1 138,3 137,7 95,8 97,2 15,70 0,614 3,634 )0,581 11,260 19,330 10,83 1,889 3,436 5,052 0,493 9,80 12,76 14,25 10,21 18,16 3,26 11,48 24,51 10,94 88,5 99,9 103,5 99,2 106,5 99,9 88,9 164,2 121,2 115,6 90,9 99,9 106,4 100,9 111,0 99,9 88,1 155,6 120,4 115,0 134,0 217,9 188,8 243,5 112,0 109,4 164,2 150,8 76,7 71,3 63,4 85,6 74,3 87,1 25,3 82,1 81,2 30,1 21,1 78,0



b 77,3 94,2 93,5 8,82 8,94 67,3 89,9 90,0 36,6 62,6 60,7 39,4 119,9 156,5 199,3 114,8 101,1 9,82 15,50 28,03 0,181 1,131 0,490



125 66,7



1095,2 177,3

200,1 168,9 135,0 121,1 60,0 104,4 57,8 104,5


14744,3 0,153 0,076

439,8 92,1



414,7 87,5

Std Dev

88774,8 0,36

0,27 121,04 16,31

16,20 22,85





5,325 3,425

5,322 3,372 0,736 1,276 )0,294 3,602 0,035



15,5 1,939 3,204

1,708 1,633 )0,592 1,628 )0,185

1,633 3,075 2,349 )0,088 )1,053 )2,638 )0,415 )0,534 1,395 0,183 1,036

Notes: FUNSIS: dummy variable corresponding to the 24 central cities of the province. FUNSUB: dummy variable corresponding to the 48 functional cities; TELXHAB: installed telephone cells; POB_96: 1996 population of every municipality; WI= Wealth Index, LI= Labour Index, ELI= Educational Level Index, DI = Demographic Index, MotI = Motorization Index, HAI= Housing Access Index, MigrI= Migration Index, SII= Sex Inequality Index, OCI= Obligatory Commuting Index, CongI= Congestion Index, SOASI= Social and Old Age Services Index, HC= Housing Characteristics, PTI= Public Transport Index, EFI= Educational Facilities Index, HFI= Health Facilities Index, CEI= Climate and Environment Index, CFMMI= Cultural Facilities and Municipal Media Index, MFSI= Municipal Financial State Index.

TABLE IV Descriptive statistics (2) correlations


Pop_96 fun sub fun sis Telxha bWI

1 0,677 )0,067 0,080 )0,038 0,174 0,222 )0,285 0,141 )0,139 )0,012 0,490 )0,778 1 0,419 0,718 0,509 0,425 0,111 0,395 )0,115 )0,214 )0,033 1 0,350 0,453 0,412 0,092 0,407 0,064 )0,104 0,024 1 0,587 0,417 0,062 0,362 )0,071 )0,143 )0,127 1 0,258 0,038 0,464 0,083 0,083 )0,219 1 )0,113 0,337 )0,030 )0,332 0,284 1 )0,005 1 )0,115 )0,020 1 0,169 )0,303 0,116 1 )0,084 0,138 )0,035 )0,363 1 )0,062 0,071 0,011 )0,111 )0,136 0,265 0,133 0,011 )0,057 0,191 0,031 )0,010 0,174 0,224 0,354

1 )0,020 0,048 0,013 0,094 0,095 )0,188 0,147 )0,130 0,006 0,388 )0,664

1 0,287 0,233 0,267 0,239 0,292 )0,060 0,496 )0,006 )0,346 0,058

)0,353 )0,321 0,468 )0,258 )0,092 0,279 0,245

)0,240 )0,243 0,310 )0,139 )0,076 0,210 0,181

)0,074 )0,210 0,004 )0,211 )0,277 0,098 0,148 0,094 0,186 0,102 0,180 0,077 0,348 )0,035 0,044 0,145 )0,067 0,242 0,333 )0,236 0,028 )0,276 )0,382 )0,179 )0,395 )0,620 )0,140 0,094 )0,250 )0,237 )0,060 )0,286 )0,441 )0,061 0,071 0,110 0,259 )0,093 0,251 0,260 0,005 0,019 )0,018 0,115 0,208 0,147 0,239 0,104 )0,018

)0,084 0,161 )0,032 )0,406 )0,374 0,231 )0,063

0,482 1 0,353 0,130 1 )0,547 )0,635 )0,238 1 0,233 0,344 0,044 )0,312 1 0,011 0,146 )0,085 )0,093 0,484 1 )0,296 )0,431 )0,066 0,364 )0,377 )0,341 1 )0,273 )0,077 0,066 0,151 )0,059 0,174 0,024 0,024 )0,289 0,325 0,300


Pop 1 1996 fun sub 0,313 fun sis 0,379 telxhab 0,042 WI 0,081 LI 0,044 ELI 0,155 DI 0,002 MOTI )0,075 HAI )0,014 MIgrI )0,101 SSI 0,004 OCI 0,173 CON- )0,378 GI SOASI )0,310 HC )0,155 PTI 0,291 EFI )0,083 HFI 0,109 CEI 0,171 CFM- 0,402 MI MFSI )0,088 1

)0,239 )0,138 )0,199 )0,321 )0,086 )0,275 )0,356 )0,079 )0,046 )0,199 )0,043 )0,055 0,270

)0,325 )0,120 1




translog functions of each of the 18 quality of life components. The weighting variable was municipality size, expressed in logs. Table V shows all our results. From these estimates, we can draw several conclusions about the relationship between size and the constituents of quality of life. Wealth Index: the relation computed is not very strong, although the relation with size is unmistakable. Thus, agglomeration economies play a signicant role in generating higher wealth in the larger municipalities. Labour Index: here the relation is much weaker. Additionally, the more signicant parameters of the translog function are those that are related with the variables from the network city paradigm. Thus, city size is much less important in attracting labour than the fact of being connected to the network city. Educational Level Index: this variable has a relatively strong relation with the city size paradigm. The only parameters that are signicant are those related with city size. Here the relation is unmistakable: people with a higher level of education live in the larger or medium-sized cities. Thus, in the long term, the greater possibilities of attaining a higher education in these cities means many more educated people tend to live there. Demographic Index: the municipalities with the highest demographic potential are those that are of medium size. In addition, cities with a high function in the city system also present a high concentration for this index. Motorization Index: the proportion of vehicles per inhabitant clearly falls with city size. The most plausible reason for this is the greater need for private means of transportation among people living in small municipalities. There are two explanations: the greater need for transportation in order to have access to the same amount of services, and the poorer provision of public transportation services in and around these small municipalities. Housing Access Index: a very weak relation was found with this index, which expresses the ease of nding a place in which to live and the city paradigms. Only one parameter of the translog function is signicant: the cross-eect between size and high functions of cities has a negative eect on this index, showing a



TABLE V Estimation results from equation (3)

WI= Wealth Index LI= Labour Index ELI= Educational Level Index DI = MotI = Demographic Motorization Index Index HAI= Housing Access Index

(Intercept) POB_96 FUNSUB LTELXHAB SIZE_2 FUNSIS NETW_2 SIZE_F1 SIZE_F2 SIZE_NET NET_F1 NET_F2 R2 Adj R2 F Sig Weighting potency of WLS

0,260 1,22 9,651 )3,55*** 0,000 )1,7* 0,000 1,2 0,224 2,38** 0,000 2,68*** 0,090 )1,46 0,233 )1,33 0,018 )1,31 0,008 3,17*** 0,146 )2,5** 0,185 2,14** 0,260 0,233 9,651 0,000 0

0,161 )0,81 5,284 )0,73 )1,500 )1,96* 0,000 2,17** 0,416 0,37 0,465 1,22 0,051 )2,09** 0,031 0,81 0,710 )1,6 0,225

0,428 5,88*** 20,559 )4,12*** 1,500 )1,35 0,000 )0,46 0,000 2,24** 0,000 1,05 0,177 )0,11 0,644 )0,92 0,026 )0,94 0,294

0,404 2,64*** 18,644 )0,59 )1,000 )0,6 0,000 )0,41 0,009 2,25** 0,559 3,85*** 0,547 0,59 0,685 )2,05** 0,025 )1,51 0,000 0,21 0,556 )3,59*** 0,041 1,03 0,404 0,383 18,644 0,000 )1

0,299 3,33*** 11,733 )4,52*** 0,500 )0,9 0,000 0,42 0,001 )2,9*** 0,000 0,43 0,368 )1,31 0,676 0,36 0,004 0,49 0,671 6,03*** 0,192 )0,52 0,718 0,81 0,299 0,274 11,733 0,000 0,5

0,122 1,84* 3,813 0,3 )2,000 0,04 0,000 0,7 0,066 )0,81 0,766 )0,17 0,967 )0,77 0,486 0,59 0,421 )1,72* 0,863 0,14 0,445 0,11 0,557 0,48 0,122 0,090 3,813 0,000 )2

0,73 4,21*** 0,037 0,912 )1,45 )0,92 0,416 0,356 2,54** 1,65 0,161 0,428 0,131 0,407 5,284 20,559 0,000 0,000 )1,5 1,5

higher level of housing prices or a lower level of new homes or houses for rent. Migration Index: this index has a relatively strong relation with the controlled city paradigms. Thus, we see that medium-sized cities with a high function in the city system receive more people than very large or small municipalities. This index clearly



TABLE V Continued
SII= MI= Migration Sex Inequality Index Index 0,467 3,14*** POB_96 24,084 )1,44 FUNSUB )2,500 0,23 LTELX0,000 HAB )1,45 SIZE_2 0,002 )1,3 FUNSIS 0,152 2,58** NETW_2 0,818 1,49 SIZE_F1 0,148 )0,63 SIZE_F2 0,196 )0,6 SIZE_0,010 NET 2,29** NET_F1 0,138 )2,61*** NET_F2 0,529 )0,12 R2 0,467 Adj R2 0,448 F 24,084 Sig 0,000 Weighting )2,5 potency of WLS (Intercept) 0,063 10,69*** 1,853 )0,17 1,000 )0,19 0,000 0,19 0,000 )0,3 0,867 )0,48 0,848 )0,3 0,846 )1,46 0,767 1,12 0,629 0,47 0,764 0,82 0,145 )0,14 0,063 0,029 1,853 0,045 1 CongI= OCI= Obligatory Congestion Commut- Index ing Index 0,481 1,86* 25,453 3,06*** )2,000 1,7* 0,000 )0,12 0,064 )2,7*** 0,002 )4,45*** 0,091 0,16 0,902 2,92*** 0,007 )1,16 0,000 )1,91* 0,874 4,07*** 0,004 )1,36 0,481 0,462 25,453 0,000 )2 0,815 10,68*** 120,579 )0,21 3,000 4,36*** 0,000 0,02 0,000 )0,64 0,831 )2,77*** 0,000 )0,1 0,986 6,65*** 0,522 )15,3*** 0,006 0,4 0,924 1,48 0,000 )0,71 0,815 0,808 120,579 0,000 3 SOASI= Social and Old Age Services Index 0,301 5,1*** 11,805 1,72* 1,000 0,89 0,000 )0,48 0,000 )1,29 0,086 )1,91* 0,373 0,66 0,632 2,46** 0,198 )4,28*** 0,057 )1,58 0,511 1,5 0,014 0,21 0,301 0,275 11,805 0,000 1 HC= Housing Characteristics 0,394 0,24 17,821 1,41 )2,500 )0,09 0,000 1,27 0,810 )5,65*** 0,161 )2,72*** 0,929 )1,37 0,205 3,54*** 0,000 0,67 0,007 0,87 0,172 2,05** 0,000 )0,11 0,394 0,372 17,821 0,000 )2,5

indicates a more complex relation between city size and quality of life components, because city size changes as people move from one place to another. Sex Inequality Index: this variable, which expresses the dierent amounts of social capital in the municipalities, is clearly not related with any of the controlled paradigms. Thus, it can be



TABLE V Continued
PTI= Public Transport Index EFI= Educational Facilities Index HFI= Health Facilities Index CEI= Climate and Environment Index 0,283 5,64*** 10,849 )2,56** 0,500 )0,43 0,000 )1,97** 0,000 0,08 0,011 1,32 0,670 1,39 0,049 )1,02 0,937 0,52 0,187 3,16*** 0,166 )1,16 0,309 0,3 0,283 0,257 10,849 0,000 0,5 CFMMI= Cultural Facilities and Municipal Media Index 0,140 0,24 4,480 )0,28 )0,500 0,58 0,000 i 0,808 0,29 0,777 )1,94* 0,564 )0,85 0,395 )0,3 0,770 1,85* 0,053 0,2 0,396 2,06** 0,766 )1,11 0,140 0,109 4,480 0,000 )0,5 MFSI= Municipal Financial State Index

0,530 )1,15 POB_96 30,933 1,25 FUNSUB )1,000 )0,81 LTELX0,000 HAB 1,52 SIZE_2 0,249 0,01 FUNSIS 0,214 2,09** NETW_2 0,420 )1,2 SIZE_F1 0,130 )2,15** SIZE_F2 0,996 3,13*** SIZE_0,038 NET )0,86 NET_F1 0,230 )1,75* NET_F2 0,033 )0,03 R2 0,530 Adj R2 0,513 F 30,933 Sig 0,000 Weighting )1 potency of WLS


0,328 6,87*** 13,389 5,54*** 2,500 )0,6 0,000 )0,6 0,000 )4,24*** 0,000 )2,41** 0,548 1,22 0,551 1,02 0,000 0,27 0,017 )4,82*** 0,224 2,3** 0,307 0,56 0,328 0,303 13,389 0,000 2,5

0,277 2,49** 10,538 2,42** )1,500 )1,28 0,000 0,29 0,013 )0,67 0,016 )1,86* 0,203 )0,07 0,770 0,52 0,502 3,08*** 0,064 )2,6*** 0,942 1,78* 0,603 0,5 0,277 0,251 10,538 0,000 )1,5

0,273 )0,19 10,297 5,04*** )0,500 0,86 0,000 0,7 0,849 )3,63*** 0,000 )3,31*** 0,389 )0,12 0,486 3,69*** 0,000 )0,55 0,001 )4,24*** 0,903 2,66*** 0,000 )0,74 0,273 0,246 10,297 0,000 )0,5

Note: * Signicant at 10%; ** Signicant at 5%; *** signicant at 1%. The t-statistic is shown in italcs. POB_96: Size. FUNSUB Function_1. LTELXHAB: Network. SIZE_2_ Size2. FUNSIS: Function_2. NETW_2: Network. SIZE_F1: Size*Function_1. SIZE_F2: Size*Function_2. SIZE_NET: Size*Network. NET_F1: Network*Function_1. NET_F2: Network*Function_2.



concluded that sex inequalities are distributed independently of the city paradigms. Obligatory Commuting Index: here the index is quite well explained in terms of the city paradigms. As a citys size increases, its inhabitants do not have to commute so much in order to travel to work or to enjoy public or private services. Congestion Index: This index, computed as the density of automobiles, is much higher in big cities than in small municipalities. In addition, the dummy variables that control the city functions are those that account for this congestion. It is interesting to see how high function cities have more congestion than those with more simply functions. Social and Old Age Services Index: This variable clearly falls path as city size increases. In addition, high function cities have, differentially, a lower level of social and old age services. Housing Characteristics: this function, which is relatively well explained, presents a marked parabola that decreases in size after reaching the mid-point. Furthermore, functional cities have a higher level of housing characteristics than high function cities. A relation might be established here with the higher Migration Index that can be found in medium-sized cities, where new houses, with higher characteristics, have been built in recent years. Public Transport Index: this variable clearly increases with size and city function. Thus, larger and more functional cities are much better connected to public transport than smaller, less functional cities. Educational Facilities Index: this variable does not increase markedly with size as one would expect. Although educational facilities increase with city size, high function cities have a relatively lower level. This is due to the fact that, although there are more services, there are also more individuals that require these services. This leads to a certain level of congestion. Health Facilities Index: the situation here is similar to that recorded for educational services. There are more services in larger cities, but there is also greater population pressure on them. Climate and Environment Index: this index, which not only includes the environment but also includes the climate, presents a positively sloped relation with city size. Thus, although one



might believe that large cities are much more heavily polluted, we also see how people tend to concentrate spatially in places with a good climate. Cultural Facilities and Municipal Media Index: this index presents a weak relation with city paradigms. Although a positive relation with city size does develop, city function plays an uncertain role, with the functional cities presenting the highest levels of this index. Municipal Financial State Index: nally, the nancial state of municipalities presents a negatively sloped relation with city size. It would seem that as municipalities increase in size, they have to increase the amount of public services they provide without bentting from scale economies.

These results show a majority of well-behaved curves, with a diversity of levels of adjustments. In addition, the positive eect of city size is reected in the economic index. Agglomeration economies were found to play a signicant role in this metropolitan area. A positive eect of city size was also seen in the economies of scale and the indivisibilities of public services. This was the case of public transportation, which means people do not to have to be the private owners of increasing numbers of automobiles. We have also seen how people migrate to large or medium-sized municipalities and that the demographic potential here is greater, with more young people and higher birth rates. Nevertheless, several costs were also identied as a consequence of size. Congestion arises, of course, in terms of the density of automobiles, but also in terms of the provision of such basic services as education and health. The provision of these public services by the municipalities also serves to weaken their nancial circumstances. Indeed, what we nd is that several services are insucient in larger cities, as is the case with social services and those for the elderly. Here, a process of the territorial substitution of services arises, as residences for the elderly, for instance, become concentrated at some distance from more populated cities. It should be noted that the city network paradigm was found only to be of importance in the case of the labour index, but this demonstrates the signicance of this paradigm in its relation with economic activity.



In addition, the neoclassical supply-oriented dynamic approach, which emphasises city functions, has shown itself to be an important factor. Marked dierences in benets and costs are recorded according to the function of each city in the city system. Thus, ecient city size presents itself as a more important concept than optimal city size: costs and benets depend on what the city produces and how it produces them.

CONCLUSIONS This study has focused its analysis on the application of three city paradigms: optimal city size theory, the supply-oriented dynamic approach, and the city network paradigm. We have taken into consideration the costs and benets to cities in terms of household utility rather than applying a production function. In this context, the quality of life concept and its constituents are particularly pertinent. By adopting this framework, we have been able to see the inuence of each specic paradigm on each of the 18 controlled components of quality of life. Our most signicant nding is that agglomeration economies were shown to play a signicant role, especially in the economic index. Economies of scale and the indivisibilities of public services were also found to be signicant, as were public transportation services. In the case of costs, we have seen how congestion occurs in terms of the density of automobiles as well as in the provision of education and health services. The provision of public services by municipalities also serves to weaken their nancial condition. Furthermore, we have evidence of a process of territorial substitution of services whereby social services and those for the elderly are pushed out from the larger cities. The city network paradigm played a signicant role in the labour index, which has an obvious relation with economic activity. Similarly, the neoclassical supply-oriented dynamic approach, which places an emphasis on city functions, was also shown to be an important factor. The next step in this research will require conducting analyses that take into account the spatial relationships between all municipalities and those within higher function cities.



Additional approaches have been made on the analysis of the economy of cities, in which more subjective processes are considered, for instance taking into account conditions such as the need to provide help to elderly relatives. As an example of this literature see Jacobs (1979, 1984). 2 The accepted social materialist vision of reality is the instrumental nature of economic activities that enables people to earn resources that are used in other activities that give rise to satisfaction. By contrast, the post-materialist vision claims that in societies characterised by abundance, resources are not innite, but rather sucient, so that choices are made in terms of opportunity costs. Thus, a job can also be highly valued in terms of factors other than the earnings it produces. 3 Each system or subsystem has basic health or educational services that are not shared with other systems or subsystems. So global services such as Universities and large hospitals are not considered as dening features of the urban systems or subsystems. An additional exploration of this method of grouping municipalities according to social criteria can be seen in Royuela and Roman (2004). 4 We use more than 500 basic variables, referring to all 314 municipalities and, in the main, to dierent time periods between 1991 and 2000. These gures indicate the size of the database.

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