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Airports and urban sectoral employment

  • Sheard, Nicholas

This paper estimates the effects of airport infrastructure on relative sectoral employment at the metropolitan-area level, using data from the United States. To address the potential endogeneity in the determination of airport sizes, the 1944 National Airport Plan is used to instrument for the current distribution of airports. Airport size is found to have a positive effect on the employment share of tradable services, controlling for overall local employment, but no measurable effect on manufacturing or most non-tradable sectors. The effect of airport size on overall local employment is practically zero, suggesting that airports lead to specialization but not growth at the metropolitan-area level. The implied elasticity of tradable-service employment with respect to airport size is approximately 0.22. The results are relevant to the evaluation of airport construction or improvement projects that aim to benefit the local economy by making travel to and from the metropolitan area more convenient.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 80 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 133-152

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:80:y:2014:i:c:p:133-152
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Anca D. Cristea, 2012. "Airports and Urban Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 18278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen Redding & Daniel.M Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2007. "History and industry location: evidence from German airports," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3680, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Guy Michaels, 2006. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill - Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," CEP Discussion Papers dp0772, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic geography and international inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
  6. Cristea, Anca D., 2011. "Buyer-Seller Relationships in International Trade: Evidence from U.S. States' Exports and Business-Class Travel," MPRA Paper 30347, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Dave Donaldson, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 16487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Duranton, Gilles & Morrow, Peter & Turner, Matthew A, 2013. "Roads and Trade: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 9393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
  10. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2009. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities," NBER Working Papers 15376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  12. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "Urban Growth and Transportation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1407-1440.
  13. Richard K. Green, 2006. "Airports and Economic Development," Working Papers 0002, School of Business, The George Washington University.
  14. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805, 05.
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