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The Role of Cities: Evidence From the Placement of Sales Offices

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  • Thomas J Holmes

Abstract

What is the force of attraction of cities? Leading explanations include the advantages of a con-centrated market and knowledge spillovers. This paper develops a model of firm location decisions in which it is possible to distinguish the importance of the concentrated-market motive from other motives, including knowledge spillovers. A key aspect of the model is that it allows for the firm to choose multiple locations. The theory is applied to study the placement of manufacturing sales offices. The implications of the concentrated-market motive are found to be a salient feature of U.S. Census micro data. The structural parameters of the model are estimated. The concentrated-market motive is found to account for approximately half of the concentration of sales offices in large cities.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2002/CES-WP-02-02.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 02-02.

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Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-02

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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References

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  1. Davis, D.R. & Weinstein, D.E., 1997. "Does Economic Geography Matter for International Specialization?," Papers 591, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  3. Aviv Nevo, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," NBER Working Papers 6387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  5. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  6. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  7. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, December.
  8. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward Glaeser, 1997. "Geographic Concentration as a Dynamic Process," NBER Working Papers 6270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
  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. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  12. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1986. "Efficiency of resource usage and city size," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 47-70, January.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  14. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  15. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2001. "Externalities and Cities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 245-274, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Product Quality and Market Size," NBER Working Papers 9675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas J. Holmes, 2004. "Step-by-step Migrations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 52-68, January.
  3. No, Angela, 2008. "Cities and Growth: Knowledge Spillovers in the Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies," The Canadian Economy in Transition 2008018e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis.

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