Industry churning and the evolution of cities: Evidence for Germany
AbstractIn this paper we show that the recent model by Gilles Duranton [Duranton, G., 2007. Urban evolutions: The fast, the slow, and the still. American Economic Review 97, 197-221] performs remarkably well in replicating the city size distribution of West Germany, much better than the simple rank-size rule known as Zipf's law. The main mechanism of this theoretical framework is the "churning" of industries across cities. Little is known in urban economics about the determinants of local industry turnover so far. We present an empirical analysis of the excess churning index for West German cities, which describes the strength of intra-city industry reallocations over time. We find that urban growth and industry turnover are not notably correlated: Some, but not all fast-growing cities have notably changed. Secondly, human capital is positively related to growth and turnover, but only among successful cities. Industrial change within unsuccessful cities is driven by the disappearance of old-fashioned and declining sectors such as agriculture or mining. On a more general level our results suggest that the recent model by Duranton is a powerful description of the urban growth process. Still there are some aspects that are not captured by that model, which are at the core of other theories of urban growth.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.
Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905
Industry turnover Urban growth Structural change Churning City size distribution Zipf's law;
Other versions of this item:
- Findeisen, Sebastian & Suedekum, Jens, 2007. "Industry Churning and the Evolution of Cities: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
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