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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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  4. David, Paul A. & Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "Marshallian factor market externalities and the dynamics of industrial localization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 349-370, November.
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  15. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Junius, Karsten, 1997. "Economies of scale: A survey of the empirical literature," Kiel Working Papers, Kiel Institute for the World Economy 813, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2000. "External Economies And Location Of Industrial Activities. An Analysis Of The Spanish Case," ERSA conference papers, European Regional Science Association ersa00p95, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Joshua Drucker, 2009. "Trends in Regional Industrial Concentration in the United States," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 09-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Raphael Bostic, 2002. "Do CRA Agreements Influence Lending Patterns?," Working Paper, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate 8623, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  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.
  6. 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, European Regional Science Association ersa00p195, European Regional Science Association.

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