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Firm Fragmentation and Urban Patterns

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  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  • Pierre-Daniel Sarte
  • Raymond Owens III

Abstract

We document several empirical regularities regarding the evolution of urban structure in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas over the period 1980-1990. These regularities relate to changes in resident population, employment, occupations, as well as the number and size of establishments in different sections of the metropolitan area. We then propose a theory of urban structure that emphasizes the location and internal structure decisions of firms. In particular, firms can decide to locate their headquarters and operation plants in different regions of the city. Given that cities experienced positive population growth throughout the 1980s, we show that firm fragmentation produces the diverse set of facts documented in the paper.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11839.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Publication status: published as Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Raymond Owens iii, 2009. "Firm Fragmentation And Urban Patterns," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 143-186, 02.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11839

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  1. Richard Arnott & Alex Anas & Kenneth Small, 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 388., Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Urbanization and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1543-1591 Elsevier.
  3. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Optimal Urban Land Use and Zoning," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 69-106, January.
  4. Henderson, J. Vernon & Ono, Yukako, 2008. "Where do manufacturing firms locate their headquarters?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 431-450, March.
  5. J Vernon Henderson & James Davis, 2004. "The Agglomeration of Headquarters," Working Papers 04-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
  7. Kim, Sukkoo, 1999. "The Rise of Multiunit Firms in U.S. Manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 360-386, October.
  8. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1931, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
  11. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  12. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435, November.
  13. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chun-Chung Au & Vernon Henderson, 2002. "How Migration Restrictions Limit Agglomeration and Productivity in China," NBER Working Papers 8707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Russo & Federico Tedeschi & Aura Reggiani & Peter Nijkamp, 2011. "Commuter Effects on Local Labour Markets: A German Modelling Study," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-114/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Kristian Behrens & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2008. "Survival of the Fittest in Cities: Agglomeration, Selection, and Polarisation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0894, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Wall, Howard J., 2011. "The Employment Cycles of Neighboring Cities," MPRA Paper 29410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011114 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2010. "Small Establishments/Big Effects: Agglomeration, Industrial Organization and Entrepreneurship," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 277-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Riccardo Crescenzi & Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2012. "Innovation drivers, value chains and the geography of multinational firms in European regions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53193, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Eckhardt Bode & Franz-Josef Bade Bade & Eleonora Cutrini Cutrini, 2011. "Domestic and International Offshoring of Tasks," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1840, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2012. "Inshoring: The geographic fragmentation of production and inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
  9. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2010. "Outsourcing and computers: Impact on urban skill level and rent," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 136-154, May.
  10. Kevin A. Bryan & Brian D. Minton & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte, 2007. "The evolution of city population density in the United States," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 341-360.

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