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What drives the geography of jobs in the US? Unpacking relatedness

Author

Listed:
  • Teresa Farinha
  • Pierre-Alexandre Balland
  • Andrea Morrison
  • Ron Boschma

Abstract

There is ample evidence of regions diversifying in new occupations that are related to pre-existing activities in the region. However, it is still poorly understood through which mechanisms related diversification operates. To unpack relatedness, we distinguish between three mechanisms: complementarity (interdependent tasks), similarity (sharing similar skills) and local synergy (based on pure co-location). We propose a measure for each of these relatedness dimensions and assess their impact on the evolution of the occupational structure of 389 US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) for the period 2005–2016. Our findings show that new jobs appearing in MSA’s are related to existing ones, while those more likely to disappear are more unrelated to a city’s jobs’ portfolio. We found that all three relatedness dimensions matter, but local synergy shows the largest impact on entry and exit of jobs in US cities, thus being the strongest force of diversification.

Suggested Citation

  • Teresa Farinha & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Andrea Morrison & Ron Boschma, 2019. "What drives the geography of jobs in the US? Unpacking relatedness," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(9), pages 988-1022, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:26:y:2019:i:9:p:988-1022
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2019.1591940
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frank Neffke & Martin Henning & Ron Boschma, 2011. "How Do Regions Diversify over Time? Industry Relatedness and the Development of New Growth Paths in Regions," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 87(3), pages 237-265, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bahar, Dany & Rosenow, Samuel & Stein, Ernesto & Wagner, Rodrigo, 2019. "Export take-offs and acceleration: Unpacking cross-sector linkages in the evolution of comparative advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 48-60.
    2. Emelie Hane-Weijman & Rikard H. Eriksson & David Rigby, 2020. "How do occupational relatedness and complexity condition employment dynamics in periods of growth and recession?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2011, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Mar 2020.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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