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The shared fortunes of cities and suburbs

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  • Jordan Rappaport

Abstract

For more than 50 years, suburbs throughout the United States have prospered, while many of the large cities they surround have stagnated. Hence, many people perceive that cities and suburbs tend to grow at each other’s expense—and thus compete for residents and jobs. While there is some truth in this perception, it misses the fact that a metro area’s cities and suburbs also depend on each other for economic growth. Cities and their suburbs share a multitude of resources, such as airports, highways, mass transit, cultural amenities, entertainment venues, air quality, potential employers, and many more. These shared resources may be even more important than the differences between cities and suburbs in determining where people live and jobs locate. Rappaport examines the main forces that have influenced the growth of cities and suburbs over the past century. He finds that, while cities and suburbs do sometimes grow at each other’s expense, more often they grow or decline together. Thus, while it may make sense for cities and their suburbs to compete along some dimensions, there are also strong incentives for the two to cooperate to make their metro areas attractive and productive places to live and work.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordan Rappaport, 2005. "The shared fortunes of cities and suburbs," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 33-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2005:i:qiii:p:33-60:n:v.90no.3
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    File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/Publicat/econrev/PDF/3q05rapp.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yan Song & Yves Zenou, 2009. "How Do Differences In Property Taxes Within Cities Affect Urban Sprawl?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 801-831.
    2. Song, Yan & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "How Differences in Property Taxes within Cities Affect Urban Sprawl?," Working Paper Series 754, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    3. Francisca Richter & Youngme Seo, 2011. "Inter-regional home price dynamics through the foreclosure crisis," Working Paper 1119, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

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    Keywords

    Cities and towns;

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