Urban Development in the United States, 1690-1990
AbstractThe United States transformed itself from a rural to an urban society over the last three centuries. After a century of unremarkable growth, the pace of urbanization was historically unprecedented between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the twentieth century, the urban population continued to increase but in a much more dispersed manner as the suburban population increased. Throughout these developments, cities also exhibited considerable variation in their population sizes. This paper find that the pace and pattern of U.S. urban development are explained by changes in regional comparative advantage and in economies in transportation and local public goods, which in turn were determined by the changes in the economic structures of cities. This paper also finds that cities varied considerably in size because the larger cities reduced market transaction costs associated with coordinating greater geographic division of labor.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7120.
Date of creation: May 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Kim, Sukko. "Urban Development In The United States, 1690-1990," Southern Economic Journal, 2000, v66(4,Apr), 855-880.
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-05-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-1999-05-25 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-HIS-1999-05-25 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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