Yet even more evidence on the spatial size of cities: Urban spatial expansion in the US, 1980–2000
This paper expands empirical testing of the predictions of the standard monocentric urban model to examine the size of urban spatial expansion for all US metropolitan regions for the years 1980, 1990 and 2000. Until recently, the lack of temporally and spatially-consistently interpreted data on urban extent for U.S. metropolitan areas has limited the ability to estimate panel models of land use change. This paper first describes the creation of a consistent data set on urbanized land area for all U.S. metropolitan areas. It then estimates cross-sectional models of the determinants of urban spatial extent. For purposes of comparison, results are compared to temporally-consistent satellite-derived measures of developed land area from the National Land Cover Database. The paper then presents panel-model estimates of changes in urban land area, finding that both population and income elasticities are substantially less than unity. Tests for the structural stability of urbanized land area determinants across metropolitan size categories and polycentric regions are presented.
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