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The Challenge of Forecasting Metropolitan Growth: Urban Characteristics Based Models versus Regional Dummy Based Models

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Abstract

This paper presents a study of errors in forecasting the population of Metropolitan Statistical Areas and the Primary MSAs of Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas and New England MAs. The forecasts are for the year 2000 and are based on a semi-structural model estimated by Mills and Lubelle using 1970 to 1990 census data on population, employment and relative real wages. This model allows the testing of regional effects on population and employment growth. The year 2000 forecasts are for 321 MSAs as they were defined in 1990. Actual year 2000 populations for these MSAs are constructed using the MSA components lists for 1990. Forecast errors are constructed for these “historic” MSAs. The forecast errors for the entire set of cities are examined for regional patterns. A subset of 77 cities is examined more carefully using the State of the Nations Cities (SONC) data base prepared by the Center for Urban Policy Research. SONC contains observations on 2000 demographic and socioeconomic variables for all 77 MSAs in the data set. Selected variables will be used to test a model of forecast areas developed for this project to determine if there are systematic relationships between selected variables and the forecast errors and to determine if a semi-structural model based on urban characteristics variables can improve urban population forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Na, 2005. "The Challenge of Forecasting Metropolitan Growth: Urban Characteristics Based Models versus Regional Dummy Based Models," Working Papers 200510, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:200510
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    File URL: http://web.bsu.edu/cob/econ/research/papers/bsuecwp200510.pdf
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