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The Geographic Concentration of New Firm Formation and Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities

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  • Zoltan J Acs
  • Catherine Armington

Abstract

The role of education and human capital externalities is a key variable in theories of economic growth. However, the mechanism by which these externalities are realized has not been fully investigated. We examine the relationship between area differences in the levels of human capital and subsequent differences in new firm start-up rates. Firm start-ups are usually based on an innovation (in product, process, or market) that derives from utilization of new knowledge. We find that the new firm start-up rates in areas that function as integrated labor and consumer markets (city plus surrounding commuter area) are (1) positively related to the share of adults with college degrees, and also (2) positively related to higher levels of existing establishments in the same industry and area sector. The finding that higher concentrations of existing establishments in the same industry segment were strongly associated with higher startup rates suggests that spillover of relevant knowledge from other local business owners/managers and researchers within each industry contributes to greater innovation and growth in the area.

Suggested Citation

  • Zoltan J Acs & Catherine Armington, 2003. "The Geographic Concentration of New Firm Formation and Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Working Papers 03-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:03-05
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2003/CES-WP-03-05.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Mendoza, Jorge Eduardo, 2003. "Efectos de la aglomeración y los encadenamientos industriales en el patrón de crecimiento manufacturero en México
      [Manufacturing specialization and urban aglommeration in the largest cities of Mexi
      ," MPRA Paper 2854, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2003.
    2. Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod & Mercedes Teruel-Carrizosa, 2005. "An Urban Approach to Firm Entry: The Effect of Urban Size," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 508-528.
    3. Braunerhjelm, Pontus & Borgman, Benny, 2006. "Agglomeration, Diversity and Regional Growth," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 71, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    4. BOONE, Christophe & BROUWER, Aleid & JACOBS, Jan & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen, 2009. "Religious pluralism and organizational diversity: An empirical test for the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands, 1851-1914," ACED Working Papers 2009002, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    5. R. Jason Faberman, 2003. "Job Flows and Establishment Characteristics: Variations Across U.S. Metropolitan Areas," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-609, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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