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Céline Rozenblat and Zachary P. Neal

The urban networks discussed in this volume, and that appear in the literature more broadly, are characterized by significant diversity. This is perhaps not a surprise as the study of urban networks is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on theoretical foundations from geography, economics, psychology and sociology, and on methodological tools including ethnographic and qualitative methods from sociology, and quantitative methods from mathematics and physics. However, although the flexibility of network models to capture a wide range of urban phenomena is a key strength of the approach and a source of intellectual diversity, it can also be a source of confusion. Different fields and different research questions require studying different types of urban networks, often defined in very different ways, which obscures their commonalities. In this introductory chapter, we sketch a framework for integrating the diversity of urban networks by situating them along the dimensions of level and scale. These two dimensions define, respectively, the aggregation and spatial scope of the nodes, and therefore provide critical parameters for defining an urban network. In some instances, a network’s level and scale are defined implicitly by the research question, but we contend there is still value in being explicit about level and scale. Similarly, although a great deal of past research on urban networks has explored only specific intersections of level and scale (for example, networks of people at the local scale, or networks of cities at the global scale), we contend that exploring urban networks with different combinations of levels and scales offers opportunities for new insights that the reader will find in this volume. We begin by describing the level/scale framework in general, then discuss the case of economic urban networks as an extended example, and use the framework to explore commonalities among the diverse urban networks in this volume. We conclude by discussing ways that levels and scales can be made more explicit in urban networks, and the potential benefits for studying urban networks at multiple levels and scales.

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David J. O’Brien

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David J. O’Brien

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Edited by Ananish Chaudhuri

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Engelbert Stockhammer, Joel Rabinovich and Niall Reddy

Most empirical macroeconomic research is limited to the period since World War II. This paper analyses the effects of changes in income distribution and in private wealth on consumption and investment covering a period from as early as 1855 through to 2010 for the UK, France, Germany and the USA, based on the data set of . We contribute to the study of wealth effects, of financialization, and of the nature of demand regimes. We find that overall domestic demand has been wage-led in the USA, the UK and Germany. Total investment responds positively to higher wage shares, which is driven by residential investment. For corporate investment alone, we find a negative relation. Wealth effects are found to be positive and significant for consumption in the USA and the UK, but weaker in France and Germany. Investment is negatively affected by private wealth in the USA and the UK, but positively in France and Germany.

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Engelbert Stockhammer, Joel Rabinovich and Niall Reddy

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Annette Schild

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Julia Burle and Laura Carvalho

In the Kaleckian theoretical framework, an economy's demand regime is characterized as either wage-led or profit-led depending on the relative effect of an increase in the wage share on consumption, investment, and net exports. Based on this framework, a vast empirical literature has focused on estimating demand regimes in numerous countries. Although they contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between distribution and demand in different economies and time periods, they also face various critiques on theoretical and methodological grounds. This paper aims to address one dimension of these critiques by investigating a potential omitted-variable bias in the estimated relationship between distribution and demand in the Brazilian economy between 1997 and 2014. Our results suggest that when controlling for some of the relevant factors in Brazil's inclusive growth experience of the early twenty-first century, namely wage inequality, commodity prices, and household credit, the empirical characterization of the Brazilian demand regime as profit-led loses its statistical significance. Also, the demand-regime definition was found to be most sensitive to intra-wage distribution, confirming previous findings in the Kaleckian empirical literature for the Brazilian case.

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Mauro Gallegati

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Martin Obschonka, Michael Fritsch and Michael Stuetzer