Autor: Fuentes Mortensen Valentina María*, Nicolini Alessi Esteban Alberto**

Institución: *UNT, **Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Año: 2023

JEL: J0, N9


The relevance of agglomeration economies for the regional economic and demographic evolution of Argentina in the long run is estimated for the first time. We present a completely novel data set that combines a consistent set of 360 comparable quasi-departments recently elaborated by Talassino, Nicolini and Aráoz (2022) and a newly assembled data set with demographic and georeferenced information for nine benchmarks between 1895 and 2010. With this data set we estimate a polynomial version of a standard OLS regression and a non-linear kernel regression and robustly confirm a non-linear relationship between initial density and population growth: for quasi-departments with relatively low density (mostly from the initial periods) the relationship between population growth and initial density is negative (convergence in densities), for quasi-departments with intermediate density the relationship is positive (divergence) and for quasi-departments with very high density the relationship is negative again. Our findings suggest the existence of diminishing marginal returns for land abundant districts at the beginning, agglomeration economies in the intermediate case and significant congestion effects in the more densely populated districts, in particular those close to the city of Buenos Aires.