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Papageorgiou Yorgos, Professor Emeritus

Yorgos Papageorgiou

Professor Emeritus

Retired Faculty
Department of Economics


Yorgos Papageorgiou received his diploma in architecture from the National Technical University of Athens in 1959, his M.C.P. in 1967 and his Ph.D. in 1970, both from the Ohio State University. Between 1963 and 1965 he also attended the Graduate School of Ekistics in Athens. During his studies and throughout his subsequent academic career he has been mainly preoccupied with the spatial organisation of human activity. But the path he took from architecture, to urban design and planning, to economic geography, marks a gradual shift from the small scale to the large and from the applied to the theoretical.

Between 1965 and 1972 he was actively involved with the Architecture and Ekistics Group of Athens. He joined the department of geography at McMaster University in 1970. From 1989 he held a joint appointment with the department of economics. He retired in 2001. For about fifteen years and until 2005 he devoted some of his time to Thirty Bench Wines in the Niagara peninsula as a co-owner and winemaker.

He has visited several universities and institutes during his academic career, including the National Research Foundation of Athens, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organisation of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the Université Catholique de Louvain, the Committee for Systems Analysis of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Erasmus University, the Université de Bourgogne, the Instituto Ricerche Economico-Sociali del Piemonte, Tilburg University, the National Technical University of Athens, the Politechnico di Torino and Tel-Aviv University. Recognitions for his work include two honorary doctorates (from the Université Catholique de Louvain and the University of the Aegean) and the induction as a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International.

He has had the good fortune of working with excellent people for many years, and the benefit from these collaborations is clearly reflected throughout his academic work. He generalised the negative exponential density function from a monocentric to a polycentric framework (see G1-3 in “Selected Publications”) and provided a theoretical rationale for both in E5 and C2 respectively. He pioneered the field on agglomeration (see R3,4, E1,2,12 and C1) and proposed an explanation for the globally observed catastrophic growth of large cities in G7. He developed innovative ways of dealing with the impact of uncertainty and heterogeneity in tastes on urban equilibrium structure and location theory (see E3, R6-8 and G18). He contributed to the study of regional population dynamics by combining evolutionary migration models (mainly drawn from physics) with stochastic utility theory in G12,13. He applied this method to the Canadian regional population system and studied its disequilibrium dynamics in G19,20. Using the theory of extreme-value statistics, he developed in G17 a method that derives from first principles various discrete-choice models either in discrete or in continuous space, including the multinomial logit. He developed models for the analysis of policy issues at the urban, regional and international level (see E7,11 and R11-13). Finally, he has struggled with some fundamental problems (see R5,9, G15 and E6,8). He currently works primarily on urban origins (see, for example, C1) and on imperfect public choice.

The price he paid for working across disciplines is that he had to settle on a margin, never quite accepted by those in another discipline, nor quite rejected by those in his own discipline.


Ph.D. Ohio State University 1970


Selected Publications


E1. With T. R. Smith: Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States. Econometrica 51 (1983), 1109-1119. Reprinted in M. Fujita (editor) Spatial Economics, Volume I, pp. 242-252. The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics188. An Elgar Reference Collection, Cheltenham, UK and Northhampton, MA, USA, 2005.

E2. With J.-F. Thisse: Agglomeration as Spatial Interdependence between Firms and Households. Journal of Economic Theory 37 (1985), 19-31.

E3. With A. de Palma, V. Ginsburgh and J.-F. Thisse: The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Holds under Sufficient Heterogeneity. Econometrica 53 (1985), 767-781. Reprinted in M. L. Greenhut and G. Norman (editors) The Economics of Location, vol 1, pp. 358-372. Edward Elgar, Brookfield VT.

E4. With A. Harrison: Welfare-Improving Changes in Size Distribution of Incomes. Economics Letters 23 (1987), 23-29.

E5. With D. Pines: The Exponential Density Function: First Principles, Comparative Statics and Empirical Evidence. Journal of Urban Economics 26 (1989), 264-268.

E6. With D. Pines: The Logical Foundations of Urban Economics Are Consistent. Journal of Economic Theory 50 (1990), 37-53.

E7. With G. M. Myers: Fiscal Inequivalence, Incentive Equivalence and Pareto Efficiency in a Decentralised Urban Context. Journal of Urban Economics 33 (1993), 29-47.

E8. With A. de Palma and G. M. Myers: Rational Choice under an Imperfect Ability to Choose. American Economic Review 84 (1994), 419-440. To be reprinted in D. A. Hensher and J. M. Rose (editors) Choice Modeling: Foundational Contributions. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK and North-hampton, MA, USA.

E9. With W. P. Anderson: Disequilibrium in the Canadian Regional Population Distribution, 1952-1983. In W. A. Barnett, C. Hillinger and G. Gandolfo (editors) Dynamic Disequilibrium Modelling: Theory and Applications, pp. 447-473. Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium in Economic Theory and Econometrics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996.

E10. With D. Pines, An Essay on Urban Economic Theory (316 pp.). Kluwer Academic, Boston, 1999.

E11. With G. M. Myers: Immigration Control and the Welfare State. Journal of Public Economics 75 (2000), 183-207.

E12. With D. Pines: Externalities, Indivisibility, Nonreplicability and Agglomeration. Journal of Urban Economics 48 (2000), 509-535. Reprinted in M. Fujita (editor) Spatial Economics, Volume II, pp. 340-366. The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics 188. An Elgar Reference Collection, Cheltenham, UK and Northhampton, MA, USA, 2005.

Regional Science

R1. With E. Casetti: Spatial Equilibrium Residential Land Values in a Multicentre Setting. Journal of Regional Science 11 (1971), 385-389. Reprinted in J.-F. Thisse, K. Button and P. Nijkamp (eds.), Modern Classics in Regional Science, pp. 247-254. Blackwell, Cambridge MA, 1996.

R2. On Issues of Urban Policy. Papers of the Regional Science Association 39 (1977), 231-249.

R3. Agglomeration. Regional Science and Urban Economics 9 (1979), 41-59.

R4. With T. R. Smith: Spatial Externalities and the Stability of Interacting Populations Near the Centre of a Large Area. Journal of Regional Science 22 (1982), 1-18.

R5. With V. Ginsburgh and J.-F. Thisse: On Existence and Stability of Spatial Equilibria and Steady-States. Regional Science and Urban Economics 15 (1985), 149-158.

R6. With D. Pines: The Impact of Transportation Cost Uncertainty on Urban Structure. Regional Science and Urban Economics 18 (1988), 247-260.

R7. With A. de Palma: Heterogeneity in Tastes and Urban Structure. Regional Science and Urban Economics 18 (1988), 37-56.

R8. With M. J. Beckmann: Heterogeneous Tastes and Residential Location. Journal of Regional Science 29 (1989), 317-323. Reprinted in K. Button (ed.), Modern Classics in Regional Science. Blackwell, Cambridge MA.

R9. With M. Berliant and P. Wang: On Welfare Theory and Urban Economics. Regional Science and Urban Economics 20 (1990), 245-262.

R10. With G. Leonardi and Yannis Y. Papageorgiou: A Model of Continuous Spatial Choice. In M. M. Fischer, P. Nijkamp and Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou (editors) Behavioural Modelling of Spatial Decisions and Processes, pp.81-99. North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1990.

R11. With G. M. Myers: On the Economic Impact of Political Boundaries Over a Resource-Diversified Territory. In H. Ohta and J.- F. Thisse (editors) Does Economic Space Matter? Essays in Honour of Melvin L. Greenhut, pp. 81-94. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1993.

R12. With G. M. Myers: Efficient Nash Equilibria in a Federal Economy with Migration Cost. Regional Science and Urban Economics27 (1997), 345-371.

R13. With G. M. Myers: Towards a Better System for Immigration Control. Journal of Regional Science 42 (2002), 51-74.

R14. Population Density in a Central-Place System. Journal of Regional Science.




G1. A Generalization of the Population Density Gradient Concept. Geographical Analysis 3 (1971), 121-127.

G2. The Population Density and Rent Distribution Models within a Multicentre Framework. Environment and Planning 3 (1971), 267-282.

G3. With A. Brummel: Crude Inferences on Spatial Consumer Behaviour. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 65 (1975), 1-12.

G4. Political Aspects of Social Justice and Physical Planning in an Abstract City. Geographical Analysis 10 (1978), 373-385.

G5. Spatial Externalities I: Theory. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 68 (1978), 465-476.

G6. Spatial Externalities II: Applications. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 68 (1978), 477-492.

G7. On Sudden Urban Growth. Environment and Planning A 12 (1980), 1035-1050.

G8. Social Values and Social Justice. Economic Geography 56 (1980), 110-119.

G9. With J.-F. Thisse: Reconciliation of Transportation Costs and Amenities as Location Factors in the Theory of the Firm.Geographical Analysis 13 (1981), 189-195.

G10. Some Thoughts about Theory in the Social Sciences. Geographical Analysis 14 (1982), 340-346.

G11. Models of Agglomeration. Sistemi Urbani 3 (1983), 391-410.

G12. With P. S. Kanaroglou and K.-L. Liaw: An Analysis of Migratory Systems I: Theory. Environment and Planning A 18 (1986), 913-928.

G13. With P. S. Kanaroglou and K.-L. Liaw: An Analysis of Migratory Systems II: Operational Framework. Environment and Planning A 18 (1986), 1039-1060.

G14. Giorgio Leonardi, April 1986. Sistemi Urbani 10 (1988), 5-17.

G15. With G. M. Myers: Homo Economicus in Perspective. The Canadian Geographer 35 (1991), 380-399.

G16. With W. P. Anderson: Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Population Trends in Canada, 1966-1982. The Canadian Geographer36 (1992), 124-144.

G17. With G. Leonardi: Conceptual Foundations of Spatial Choice Models. Environment and Planning A 24 (1992), 1393-1408.

G18. Residential Choice When Place Utility Is Not Precisely Known in Advance. Sistemi Urbani 14 (1992), 127-138.

G19. With W. P. Anderson: An Analysis of Migration Streams for the Canadian Regional System, 1952-1983: 1. Migration Probabilities. Geographical Analysis 26 (1994), 15-36.

G20. With W. P. Anderson: An Analysis of Migration Streams for the Canadian Regional System, 1952-1983: 2. Disequilibrium.Geographical Analysis 26 (1994), 110-123.

G21. With W. P. Anderson and M. Darovny: Designing a Model of Metropolitan Migration Probabilities. Geographical Systems 4 (1997), 281-307.

G22. With G. M. Myers: Procedural Rationality and the Need to Aggregate. Espace Geographique 26 (1997), 153-164.


Current Discussion Papers

C1. With A. de Palma: Spontaneous Emergence of a Simple Settlement Pattern.

C2. With A. de Palma:  About the Origin of Cities .