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A productivity model of city crowdedness

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  • Jordan Rappaport

Abstract

Population density varies widely across U.S. cities. A simple, static general equilibrium model suggests that moderate-sized differences in cities’ total factor productivity can account for such variation. Nevertheless, the productivity required to sustain above-average population densities considerably exceeds estimates of the increase in productivity caused by such high density. In contrast, increasing returns to scale may be able to sustain multiple equilibria at below-average population densities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 06-06.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp06-06

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Keywords: Cities and towns ; Productivity ; Population;

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Kim, Sukkoo, 1999. "Regions, resources, and economic geography: Sources of U.S. regional comparative advantage, 1880-1987," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-32, January.
  3. Ciccone, Antonio, 2002. "Agglomeration effects in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
  4. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2005. "Growth of U.S. Industries and Investments in Information Technology and Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 403-478 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Morris A. Davis & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2004. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," CEPR Discussion Papers 4240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jordan Rappaport, 2006. "A productivity model of city crowdedness," Research Working Paper RWP 06-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  8. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  9. Ermisch, J. F. & Findlay, J. & Gibb, K., 1996. "The Price Elasticity of Housing Demand in Britain: Issues of Sample Selection," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 64-86, March.
  10. McDonald, John F., 1981. "Capital-land substitution in urban housing: A survey of empirical estimates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 190-211, March.
  11. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  12. Jackson, Jerry R. & Johnson, Ruth C. & Kaserman, David L., 1984. "The measurement of land prices and the elasticity of substitution in housing production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-12, July.
  13. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  14. Thorsnes, Paul, 1997. "Consistent Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution between Land and Non-Land Inputs in the Production of Housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 98-108, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Albouy, 2009. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 635-667, 08.
  2. David Albouy, 2009. "What Are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Capitalization of Amenity Values," NBER Working Papers 14981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Satyajit Chatterjee, 2006. "A quantitative assessment of the role of agglomeration economies in the spatial concentration of U.S. employment," Working Papers 06-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Rappaport, Jordan, 2013. "The demographic shift from single-family to multifamily housing," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 29-58.
  5. David Albouy & Gabriel Ehrlich, 2012. "Metropolitan Land Values and Housing Productivity," NBER Working Papers 18110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jordan Rappaport, 2006. "A productivity model of city crowdedness," Research Working Paper RWP 06-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  7. Jaison R. Abel & Ishita Dey & Todd M. Gabe, 2012. "Productivity And The Density Of Human Capital," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 562-586, October.
  8. Jordan Rappaport, 2006. "Consumption amenities and city crowdedness," Research Working Paper RWP 06-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2009. "Subsidies for intracity and intercity commuting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 25-32, July.
  10. Rappaport, Jordan, 2008. "Consumption amenities and city population density," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 533-552, November.
  11. Krupka, Douglas J., 2009. "Some Evidence on the Nature of Urbanization Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 4573, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Rizov, Marian & Oskam, Arie & Walsh, Paul, 2012. "Is there a limit to agglomeration? Evidence from productivity of Dutch firms," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 595-606.

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