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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. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435, November.
  2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," 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 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
  3. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Working Papers dpuga-01-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, . "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 382, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
  8. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  9. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
  10. Anas, Alex & Arnott, Richard & Small, Kenneth A., 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt835049q3, University of California Transportation Center.
  11. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  12. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2008. "The agglomeration of headquarters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 445-460, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Kim, Sukkoo, 1999. "The Rise of Multiunit Firms in U.S. Manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 360-386, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Wall, Howard J., 2013. "The employment cycles of neighboring cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 177-185.
  2. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011114 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. 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.
  4. 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, issue Fall, pages 341-360.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Kristian Behrens & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2008. "Survival of the fittest in cities: agglomeration, selection, and polarisation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28506, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Eckhardt Bode & Franz-Josef Bade Bade & Eleonora Cutrini Cutrini, 2011. "Domestic and International Offshoring of Tasks," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1840, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2012. "Inshoring: The geographic fragmentation of production and inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
  10. 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.

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