Search the Site

Posts Tagged ‘france’

Is Your City in the Right Place?

An article on VOX by Guy Michaels and Ferdinand Rauch looks at whether towns in France and Britain are “poorly located.” The authors explain that being in the wrong place — with poor access to world markets and resources, or vulnerability to natural disasters — has dire economic and social consequences. Examining historical evidence from the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, they found that towns in France stayed put, while those in Britain moved:

Medieval towns in France were much more likely to be located near Roman towns than their British counterparts (Figure 1). These differences in persistence are still visible today: only three of the 20 largest cities in Britain are located near the site of Roman towns, compared to 16 in France. This finding suggests that the British urban network shifted towards newly advantageous locations, while French towns remained in locations, which may have become obsolete.

They also found coastal access to be important:

The Economics of Prostitution, Belle Epoque Edition

Two French economists, Simon Porcher and Alexandre Frondizi, have been working on a paper about the economics of Paris street prostitution in the late 19th century.

In 1878, there were an estimated 23,000 unregistered prostitutes and 3,991 registered prostitutes. Gathering data from 339 arrests, the researchers found that street prostitutes were generally young, unskilled, and well-paid:

They tended to work with pimps that were from the same area and clustered in neighborhoods where they could compete with regulated brothels. Street prostitutes not only generated profits for themselves but also for a whole bunch of actors, thereby switching the whole local economy to this industry, at the expense of the formal economy.

Utility vs. Price: Southern France or Jersey Shore?

I got an invitation to give a keynote address at a conference in southern France next June. A great conference, but I had to decline, since we’ve planned a week with the extended family on the New Jersey Shore (the only week we are all available). The man who invited me said,“… southern France would not have been a bad place to spend this holiday….”

Even though we love the Jersey Shore, he’s right—the relative utility from the French week would be higher; and if the relative price were one, we’d be off to France. However, the prices aren’t equal—it would cost over $1000 extra for each of 12 people to do the French week. Too bad—we’ll stick with the New Jersey week, a sensible and still very enjoyable economic decision in the face of income, price and time-constrained optimization.

(HT to NG)

Is France Due for Riots?

Photo: cicilief In my last post, I offered several reasons why the urban riot has gone out of style in the U.S. However, France will not be spared the sword. I predict that the world will watch French cities light up in youth unrest in 2009, 2010 at the latest … 2011 for sure. I have been traveling to the . . .