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Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still

  • Gilles Duranton

With the use of French and US data, new and systematic evidence is provided about the rapid location changes of industries across cities (the fast). Cities are also slowly moving up and down the urban hierarchy (the slow), while the size distribution of cities is skewed to the right and very stable (the still). The model proposed here reproduces these three features. Small, innovation-driven shocks lead to the churning of industries across cities. Then, cities slowly grow or decline following net gains or losses of industries. These changes occur within a stable distribution. The quantitative implications of the model are also explored. (JEL R12, R32)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 197-221

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:197-221
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.1.197
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  1. Coulson, N. Edward, 1999. "Sectoral sources of metropolitan growth," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 723-743, November.
  2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  3. Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, E. & Teixeira, Antonio-Carlos, 2005. "The dynamics of agglomeration: evidence from Ireland and Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 170-188, January.
  4. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Magnac, Thierry & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2004. "The Dynamics of Local Employment in France," IZA Discussion Papers 1061, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. repec:inr:wpaper:155391 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 2003. "Dynamic Urban Models: Agglomeration and Growth," Working Papers 1167, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Gerald A. Carlino & Robert H. DeFina & Keith Sill, 2000. "Sectoral shocks and metropolitan employment growth," Working Papers 00-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Emmanuelle Auriol & Jean-Baptiste Lesourd & Steven G.M. Schilizzi, 2004. "France," Chapters, in: The World's Wine Markets, chapter 3 Edward Elgar.
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