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Spatial evolution of the US urban system

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  • Yannis M. Ioannides
  • Henry G. Overman

Abstract

We examine spatial features of the evolution of the US urban system using US Census data for 1900--1990 with non-parametric kernel estimation techniques that accommodate the complexity of the urban system. We consider spatial features of the location of cities and city outcomes in terms of population and wages. Our results suggest a number of interesting puzzles. In particular, we find that city location is essentially a random process and that interactions between cities do not help determine the size of a city. Both of these findings contradict our theoretical priors about the role of geography (physical and economic) in determining city outcomes. More detailed study suggests some solutions that allow us to restore a role for geography but a number of puzzles remain. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 131-156

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:2:p:131-156

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  1. Henry G. Overman & Yannis Ioannides, 2000. "Cross sectional evolution of the US city size distribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 20137, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  3. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
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  7. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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  26. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
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