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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. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Urbanization and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1543-1591 Elsevier.
  2. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
  3. Anas, Alex & Arnott, Richard & Small, Kenneth A., 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt835049q3, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2008. "The agglomeration of headquarters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 445-460, September.
  5. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. J. Vernon Henderson & Yukako Ono, 2005. "Where Do Manufacturing Firms Locate Their Headquarters?," Working Papers 05-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. 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.
  11. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," NBER Working Papers 11458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
  15. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2012. "Inshoring: The geographic fragmentation of production and inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
  2. Wall, Howard J., 2011. "The Employment Cycles of Neighboring Cities," MPRA Paper 29410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011114 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Kristian Behrens & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2008. "Survival of the Fittest in Cities: Agglomeration, Selection and Polarisation," SERC Discussion Papers, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE 0012, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  5. Riccardo Crescenzi & Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2012. "Innovation Drivers, Value Chains and the Geography of Multinational Firms in European Regions," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series, European Institute, LSE 53, European Institute, LSE.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2010. "Outsourcing and computers: Impact on urban skill level and rent," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 136-154, May.
  10. Eckhardt Bode & Franz-Josef Bade Bade & Eleonora Cutrini Cutrini, 2011. "Domestic and International Offshoring of Tasks," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1840, European Regional Science Association.

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