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Are High-Tech Employment and Natural Amenities Linked?: Answers from a Smoothed Bayesian Spatial Model

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  • Dorfman, Jeffrey H.
  • Patridge, Mark D.
  • Galloway, Hamilton
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    Abstract

    We investigate the recently advanced theory that high-technology workers are drawn to high amenity locations and then the high-technology jobs follow the workers. Using a novel data set that tracks high-technology job growth by U.S. county, we estimate spatial parameters of the response of job growth to the level of local natural amenities. We achieve this estimation with a reasonably new class of models, smooth coefficient models. The model is employed in a spatial setting to allow for smooth, but nonparametric response functions to key variables in an otherwise standard regression model. With spatial data this allows for flexible modeling such as a unique place-specific effects to be estimated for each location, and also for the responses to key variables to vary by location. This flexibility is achieved through the non-parametric smoothing rather than by nearest-neighbor type estimators such as in geographically weighted regressions. The resulting model can be estimated in a straightforward application of analytical Bayesian techniques. Our results show that amenities can definitely have a significant effect on high-technology employment growth; however, the effect varies over space and by amenity level.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/6459
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida with number 6459.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea08:6459

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    Related research

    Keywords: Bayesian econometrics; employment growth; high technology; smooth coefficient models; spatial modeling.; Labor and Human Capital; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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    1. Mark Partridge & Ray D. Bollman & M. Rose Olfert & Alessandro Alasia, 2007. "Riding the Wave of Urban Growth in the Countryside: Spread, Backwash, or Stagnation?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(2), pages 128-152.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1901, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Koop, G. & Poirier, D., 2000. "Bayesian Variants of Some Classical Semiparametric Regression Techniques," Papers 00-01-22, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    4. McGranahan, David A. & Wojan, Timothy R., 2007. "The Creative Class: A Key to Rural Growth," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
    5. Partridge Mark D. & Rickman Dan S & Ali Kamar & Olfert M. Rose, 2008. "Employment Growth in the American Urban Hierarchy: Long Live Distance," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-38, March.
    6. Koop, Gary & Tobias, Justin L., 2006. "Semiparametric Bayesian inference in smooth coefficient models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 283-315, September.
    7. Dwight W. Adamson & David E. Clark & Mark D. Partridge, 2004. "Do Urban Agglomeration Effects and Household Amenities have a Skill Bias?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 201-224.
    8. Steven C. Deller & Tsung-Hsiu (Sue) Tsai & David W. Marcouiller & Donald B.K. English, 2001. "The Role of Amenities and Quality of Life In Rural Economic Growth," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(2), pages 352-365.
    9. McGranahan, David A., 1999. "Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change," Agricultural Economics Reports 33955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
    11. Klaus Desmet & Marcel Fafchamps, 2005. "Changes in the spatial concentration of employment across US counties: a sectoral analysis 1972--2000," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 261-284, June.
    12. Mark Ferguson & Kamar Ali & M. Rose Olfert & Mark Partridge, 2007. "Voting with Their Feet: Jobs versus Amenities," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 38(1), pages 77-110.
    13. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman & Kamar Ali & M. Rose Olfert, 2008. "The Geographic Diversity of U.S. Nonmetropolitan Growth Dynamics: A Geographically Weighted Regression Approach," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(2), pages 241-266.
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