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Urban Productivity and Factor Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century

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  • Bostic, Raphael W.
  • Gans, Joshua S.
  • Stern, Scott

Abstract

This paper uncovers a series of empirical facts regarding the sources of U.S. urban growth in the 1880s. We use a large theoretical literature to provide motivations for a number of potential sources of growth, particularly those based on geographical proximity externalities. These sources are characterised and linked to empirical proxies. Then we estimate the covariation of these empirical proxies with the growth rate in output, capital and labor respectively. We find that traditional (neoclassical), several geographic externality, and socio-political factors all covary significantly with aggregate growth, though in very specific ways. For example, the size of a city (a measure of the degree of urbanization) is uncorrelated with output growth, positively correlated with labor growth, and negatively correlated with capital growth. No one extant theory of growth accounts simultaneously for all the phenomena that we observe.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 38-55

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:41:y:1997:i:1:p:38-55

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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References

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  1. Charles R. Hulten & Robert M. Schwab, 1993. "Endogenous Growth, Public Capital, and the Convergence of Regional Manufacturing Industries," NBER Working Papers 4538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1963. "Technological Change in the Machine Tool Industry, 1840–1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(04), pages 414-443, December.
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  5. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  6. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Saloner, Garth, 2000. "Competition and human capital accumulation: a theory of interregional specialization and trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 373-404, July.
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  8. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-31, September.
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    • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Miyao, Takahiro, 1987. "Dynamic urban models," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 877-925 Elsevier.
  13. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  14. David, Paul A. & Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "Marshallian factor market externalities and the dynamics of industrial localization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 349-370, November.
  15. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. van Oort, Frank & Gerking, Shelby & van Soest, Daan, 2000. "A Spatial Analysis Of Endogenous Growth In Industry And Services In The Netherlands," ERSA conference papers ersa00p195, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Joshua Drucker, 2009. "Trends in Regional Industrial Concentration in the United States," Working Papers 09-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Junius, Karsten, 1997. "Economies of scale: A survey of the empirical literature," Kiel Working Papers 813, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2000. "External Economies And Location Of Industrial Activities. An Analysis Of The Spanish Case," ERSA conference papers ersa00p95, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Scott Stern & Michael E. Porter & Jeffrey L. Furman, 2000. "The Determinants of National Innovative Capacity," NBER Working Papers 7876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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