Mémoire Final 11 05 2015 .pdf


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Abstract
The current territorial reform bill enacted by Prime Minister Manuel Valls
and its government sheds light upon the much-debated French model of
territorial cohesion. In this study, we show that, since the end of the WWII,
economic growth has been widespread in France while generating a
sweeping income convergence all over the territory. This economic dynamic
is being jeopardized by several critical factors - spatial mutation of
productive systems, non-linear scaling laws of urban characteristics,
automation of a growing number of jobs, international and national
migrations, demographic ageing, new loyalty frontiers - that question the
future of decentralization and the prospects of isolated, non-urban
territories. Interregional per capita income inequalities are on the rise in the
post-crisis context. Spatial fairness and sustained economic growth seem
now to be contradictory and antithetical. We stress the current "triumph of
the cities", the much-touted vanquishers of our modernity despite the
extreme inequalities they can generate and concentrate. A spatial analysis of
the French territory unveils a flabbergasting urban constellation, that
breaks away once more with the rest of the territory. We display to which
extent cities now concentrate high-value added and intellectual occupational
positions, whose elasticity of

technical substitution

falls

low. The

replacement and automation of a growing number of occupational positions,
in the context of a public finance crisis and with the questioning of longestablished solidarities, set up the prolegomena of a new territorial cleavage.

Key words: territory, inequality, robotization, production, cities,
decentralization
JEL : E01, E24, E62, E62, F12, F22, H23, H41, H55, H62, H77,
J11, J14, J24, J31, J61, O33, R11, R12, R23, R42

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