Trade Costs, Regional Inequality, and the Home Market Effect
We develop an economic geography framework with positive trade costs in both manufacturing and traditional sectors, mobile skilled workers, and unequal shares of unskilled labour in regions. We show that partial agglomeration always features the home market effect (HME) regardless of whether regions trade only the manufacturing good or both. Moreover, spatial factor mobility is significant for the HME to arise while intersectoral mobility does not play a crucial role. Furthermore, a decrease in the traditional sector trade costs makes the HME weaker, and increases the likelihood of full agglomeration in the larger region. Finally, we show that a small departure from Cobb-Douglas upper-tier utility towards gross substitutability of manufacturing and traditional goods reinforces the HME while the opposite holds for gross complementarity of goods.