The Settlement of the United States, 1800 to 2000: The Long Transition towards Gibrat's Law
AbstractThis paper studies the long run development of U.S. counties and metro areas from 1800 to 2000. In earlier periods smaller counties converge whereas larger counties diverge. Over time, due to changes in the age composition of locations and net congestion, convergence dissipates and divergence weakens. Gibrat's law emerges gradually without fully attaining it. Our findings suggest that orthogonal growth is a consequence of reaching a steady state population distribution, rather than an explanation of that distribution. A simple one-sector model, with entry of new locations, a growth friction, and decreasing net congestion closely matches these and related dynamics.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9353.
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Klaus Desmet & Jordan Rappaport, 2013. "The settlement of the United States, 1800 to 2000: the long transition towards Gibrat's law," Research Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City RWP 13-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- N91 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- 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)
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-GEO-2013-04-13 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-HIS-2013-04-13 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-URE-2013-04-13 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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