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Cities, Skills and Regional Change

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto
  • Kristina Tobio

Abstract

G laeser E. L., P onzetto G. A. M. and T obio K. Cities, skills and regional change, Regional Studies . One approach to urban areas emphasizes the existence of certain immutable relationships, such as Zipf's or Gibrat's law. An alternative view is that urban change reflects individual responses to changing tastes or technologies. This paper examines almost 200 years of regional change in the United States and finds that few, if any, growth relationships remain constant, including Gibrat's law. Education does a reasonable job of explaining urban resilience in recent decades, but it does not seem to predict county growth a century ago. After reviewing this evidence, a simple model of regional change is presented and estimated, where education increases the level of entrepreneurship. Human capital spillovers occur at the city level because skilled workers produce more product varieties and thereby increase labour demand. It is found that skills are associated with growth in productivity or entrepreneurship, not with growth in quality of life, at least outside of the West. It is also found that skills seem to have depressed housing supply growth in the West, but not in other regions, which supports the view that educated residents in that region have fought for tougher land-use controls. Evidence is also presented that skills have had a disproportionately large impact on unemployment during the current recession.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 48 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 7-43

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:48:y:2014:i:1:p:7-43

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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio Fazio & Marco Modica, 2012. "Pareto or log-normal? A recursive-truncation approach to the distribution of (all) cities," Working Papers 2012_10, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  2. Michaela Trax & Stephan Brunow & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1223, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2013. "The Growth Of Cities," Working Papers wp2013_1308, CEMFI.
  4. repec:wyi:journl:002175 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Jaume Masip Tresserra, 2013. "Sub-centres and Urban Inequality: A study on Social Equity in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region," ERSA conference papers ersa13p64, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Bernard Fingleton & Harry Garretsen & Ron Martin, 2012. "Recessionary Shocks And Regional Employment: Evidence On The Resilience Of U.K. Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 109-133, 02.
  7. Dario Diodato & Anet Weterings, 2012. "The Resilience of Dutch Regions to Economic Shocks. Measuring the relevance of interactions among firms and workers," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1215, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2012.

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