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What are Falling Transport Costs doing to Spatial Concentration Across US Counties?

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  • Desmet, Klaus
  • Fafchamps, Marcel

Abstract

Theory is divided on whether falling transport costs lead to more or less spatial concentration of economic activity. Using US county-level data we find that aggregate employment became more concentrated between 1972-92. This aggregate picture hides important differences between sectors though. Whereas non-service sectors have been spreading out, service sectors have become increasingly concentrated by absorbing jobs from nearby areas. This cross-sectional variation lends support to Krugman and Venables (1995), who suggest that falling transport costs initially lead to more concentration, and later on to more dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Desmet, Klaus & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2003. "What are Falling Transport Costs doing to Spatial Concentration Across US Counties?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3853, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3853
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. R. Paci & S. Usai, 2006. "Agglomeration economies and growth-The case of Italian local labour systems, 1991-2001," Working Paper CRENoS 200612, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    2. S. Deidda & R. Paci & S. Usai, 2002. "Spatial Externalities and Local Economic Growth," Working Paper CRENoS 200206, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    3. Desmet, Klaus & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2006. "Employment concentration across U.S. counties," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 482-509, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    location; spatial concentration; transport costs; US counties;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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