IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Spatial evolution of the US urban system

  • Yannis M. Ioannides
  • Henry G. Overman

We examine spatial features of the evolution of the US urban system using US Census data for 1900--1990 with non-parametric kernel estimation techniques that accommodate the complexity of the urban system. We consider spatial features of the location of cities and city outcomes in terms of population and wages. Our results suggest a number of interesting puzzles. In particular, we find that city location is essentially a random process and that interactions between cities do not help determine the size of a city. Both of these findings contradict our theoretical priors about the role of geography (physical and economic) in determining city outcomes. More detailed study suggests some solutions that allow us to restore a role for geography but a number of puzzles remain. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 131-156

in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:2:p:131-156
Contact details of provider: Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Sukkoo Kim, 1997. "Economic Integration and Convergence: U.S. Regions, 1840-1987," NBER Working Papers 6335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," NBER Working Papers 4840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Henry G. Overman & Yannis Menelaos Ioannides, 2001. "Cross-sectional evolution of the U.S. city size distribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 584, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical Cross-Section Dynamics in Economic Growth," FMG Discussion Papers dp154, Financial Markets Group.
  5. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1991. "Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195069020, July.
  6. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  7. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  8. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
  9. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
  10. Paul Krugman, 1992. "A Dynamic Spatial Model," NBER Working Papers 4219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Linda Harris Dobkins & Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Spatial Interactions Among U.S. Cities: 1900-1990," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9913, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  13. Hanson, G.H., 1999. "`Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," Working Papers 439, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  14. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
  16. Costas Megir & Danny Quah, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEP Discussion Papers dp0274, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Yannis Menelaos Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2003. "Zipf’s law for cities : an empirical examination," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 583, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1996. "The role of ports in the making of major cities: Self-agglomeration and hub-effect," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 93-120, April.
  19. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  20. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  21. Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
  22. Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 1998. "Urban Agglomeration and Dispersion: A Synthesis of Alonso and Krugman," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 333-351, November.
  23. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "First Nature, Second Nature, and Metropolitan Location," NBER Working Papers 3740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:2:p:131-156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.