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Edited by Hans Westlund and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

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Edited by Hans Westlund and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

Social capital is often considered a key factor for local development. This book analyzes the role of social capital for rural areas’ survival and development in the current age of metropolitan growth – an era in which urban is the norm and where rural areas must adapt to this new situation and build innovative urban-rural relations.
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Shunsuke Segi and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

In this chapter, the authors consider a road network where a highway and a local road run in parallel and theoretically analyse the second best pricing of the highway toll. They consider how the deterioration of road structures differs between trucks and cars and how the load-bearing capacity of road structures differs between the highway and the local road. Discriminatory toll pricing of two vehicle types results in more trucks being led to the highway from the local road and the total maintenance cost of the entire road network is reduced compared to the case when the toll for cars is not raised. Cutting the toll for trucks and raising the toll for cars can maintain the toll revenue of the operator and thus is effective when the operator needs to cover its operational cost from the toll revenue.

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Kakuya Matsushima and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

The mechanism of residential sorting and its effect on the economy are analysed by building a theoretical model that explicitly treats the emotional part of utility for choosing a specific travel mode. The authors also verify the residential sorting effects by using person trip survey data in Japan. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the model’s findings for policy planning. In particular, the authors found implementing soft transport policy measures that affect individuals’ preference for travel mode have to be considered as one of the tools of policy measures in city planning.

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Kiyoshi Kobayashi and Masamitsu Onishi

This chapter focuses on the competitive relationships among shopping districts that consist of small-size retail shops in cities, and other shopping districts or shopping centers. When consumers shop in multiple retail shops, a correlation among the profits of each shop arises through consumer behavior with respect to choosing a shopping district. When there are such demand externalities, the decentralized price-determining activities of individual retail shops cannot bring about the internalization of demand externalities; this creates a problem in that the market areas of shopping districts become too small. This study focuses on the price adjustment function that arises from the use of discount point systems in existing shopping districts; it also considers the measures used to realize the socially optimal market structure. In addition, the authors clarify that it is essential that price restriction mechanisms involving member shops in discount point systems work to maintain sustainable price coordination functions in existing shopping districts.

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Kiyoshi Kobayashi and Tsuyoshi Hatori

Many rural areas in Japan now face serious problems, characterized by depopulation, a lack of young people, and a decline in community activities. The aim of this chapter is to articulate an entrepreneurial approach in Japan, with some leading examples such as constituting a possible new way for regional actors to revitalize declining rural areas through learning and collaboration. Public–private partnerships between the government and voluntary associations in an entrepreneurial approach are considered as new trends to reform social capital, and the question of how voluntary associations can be accountable to the government for an entrepreneurial program is addressed. Regional learning governance to promote an entrepreneurial approach is also discussed, and the characteristics of legitimacy capital, as a part of social capital in a business context, are examined. It is claimed that legitimacy capital plays an important role in effectively managing conflicts concerning regional development by promoting an alignment of the various interests and opinions of regional agents within a socially legitimate framework.

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Tsuyoshi Hatori and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

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Kakuya Matsushima and Kiyoshi Kobayashi

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Tsuyoshi Hatori, Hayeong Jeong and Kiyoshi Kobayashi