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Urban Productivity and Factor Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century

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Author Info

  • Raphael Bostic

    (Stanford)

  • Joshua Gans

    (University of New South Wales)

  • Scott Stern

    (Sloan)

Abstract

This paper uncovers a series of empirical facts regarding the sources of U.S. urban growth in the 1880s. We use a large theoretical literature to provide motivations for a number of potential sources of growth, particularly those based on geographical proximity externalities. These sources are characterised and linked to empirical proxies. Then we estimate the covariation of these empirical proxies with the growth rate in output, capital and labor respectively. We find that traditional (neoclassical), several geographic externality, and socio-political factors all covary significantly with aggregate growth, though in very specific ways. For example, the size of a city (a measure of the degree of urbanization) is uncorrelated with output growth, positively correlated with labor growth, and negatively correlated with capital growth. No one extant theory of growth accounts simultaneously for all the phenomena that we observe.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/urb/papers/9507/9507001.ps.gz
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Urban/Regional with number 9507001.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jul 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:9507001

Note: 27 pages, postscript file
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Romer, Paul M., 1990. "Human capital and growth: Theory and evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 251-286, January.
  2. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 1995. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," NBER Working Papers 3185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. J. Vernon Henderson, 1994. "Externalities and Industrial Development," NBER Working Papers 4730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
  7. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Saloner, Garth, 2000. "Competition and human capital accumulation: a theory of interregional specialization and trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 373-404, July.
  8. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Miyao, Takahiro, 1987. "Dynamic urban models," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 877-925 Elsevier.
  10. J. Vernon Henderson & Ari Kuncoro & Matthew Turner, 1992. "Industrial Development in Cities," NBER Working Papers 4178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1963. "Technological Change in the Machine Tool Industry, 1840–1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(04), pages 414-443, December.
  13. David, Paul A. & Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 1990. "Marshallian factor market externalities and the dynamics of industrial localization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 349-370, November.
  14. Charles R. Hulten & Robert M. Schwab, 1993. "Endogenous Growth, Public Capital, and the Convergence of Regional Manufacturing Industries," NBER Working Papers 4538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
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Cited by:
  1. van Oort, Frank & Gerking, Shelby & van Soest, Daan, 2000. "A Spatial Analysis Of Endogenous Growth In Industry And Services In The Netherlands," ERSA conference papers ersa00p195, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Joshua Drucker, 2009. "Trends in Regional Industrial Concentration in the United States," Working Papers 09-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Scott Stern & Michael E. Porter & Jeffrey L. Furman, 2000. "The Determinants of National Innovative Capacity," NBER Working Papers 7876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Junius, Karsten, 1997. "Economies of scale: A survey of the empirical literature," Kiel Working Papers 813, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2000. "External Economies And Location Of Industrial Activities. An Analysis Of The Spanish Case," ERSA conference papers ersa00p95, European Regional Science Association.

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