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Employment Concentration Across US Counties

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  • Desmet, Klaus
  • Fafchamps, Marcel

Abstract

This Paper examines the spatial distribution of jobs across US counties and investigates whether sectoral employment is becoming more or less concentrated. The existing literature has found deconcentration (convergence) of employment across urban areas. Cities only cover a small part of the US though. Using county data, our results indicate that deconcentration is limited to the upper tail of the distribution. The overall picture is one of increasing concentration (divergence). While this seemingly contradicts the well-documented deconcentration in manufacturing, we show that these aggregate employment dynamics are driven by services. Non-service sectors – such as manufacturing and farming – are indeed becoming more equally spread across space, but services are becoming increasingly concentrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Desmet, Klaus & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2004. "Employment Concentration Across US Counties," CEPR Discussion Papers 4689, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4689
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Amy Guisinger & Ruben Hernandez-Murillo & Michael Owyang & Tara Sinclair, 2015. "A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law," Working Papers 2015-17, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    2. Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela & Rosina Moreno-Serrano & Esther Vaya-Valcarce, 2007. "Has concentration evolved similarly in manufacturing and services? A sensitivity analysis," IREA Working Papers 200708, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2007.
    3. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Reprint of development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 765-778.
    4. Desmet, Klaus & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2009. "Spatial growth and industry age," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2477-2502, November.
    5. Gordon Mulligan & Mark Partridge & John Carruthers, 2012. "Central place theory and its reemergence in regional science," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 405-431, April.
    6. Marcel Fafchamps & Michael Koelle & Forhad Shilpi, 2017. "Gold mining and proto-urbanization: recent evidence from Ghana," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 975-1008.
    7. Giulio Bottazzi & Fabio Vanni, 2014. "A numerical estimation method for discrete choice models with non-linear externalities," LEM Papers Series 2014/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    8. Giulio Bottazzi & Ugo M. Gragnolati & Fabio Vanni, 2017. "Non-linear externalities in firm localization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 1138-1150, August.
    9. Desmet, Klaus & Rappaport, Jordan, 2017. "The settlement of the United States, 1800–2000: The long transition towards Gibrat’s law," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 50-68.
    10. Arbia, Giuseppe & Piras, Gianfranco, 2009. "A new class of spatial concentration measures," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(12), pages 4471-4481, October.
    11. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 459-472.
    12. Fan, C. Simon & Stark, Oded, 2008. "Rural-to-urban migration, human capital, and agglomeration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 234-247, October.
    13. Millán Díaz-Foncea & Carmen Marcuello, 2014. "The Relation between Total Employment and Cooperative Employment: A Convergence and Causality Analysis," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 71-92, March.
    14. Südekum, Jens, 2008. "Convergence of the skill composition across German regions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 148-159, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic geography; ergodic distribution; spatial distribution of employment; 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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