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Employment Concentration Across US Counties

  • Desmet, Klaus
  • Fafchamps, Marcel

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4689.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4689
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  1. Gerald Carlino & Satyajit Chatterjee, 2002. "Employment Deconcentration: A New Perspective on America's Postwar Urban Evolution," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 445-475.
  2. Kremer, Michael & Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James, 2001. "Searching for prosperity," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 275-303, December.
  3. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
  4. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2005. "Growth and Convergence across the US: Evidence from County-Level Data," Macroeconomics 0505009, EconWPA.
  7. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  8. Ciccone, Antonio, 2002. "Agglomeration effects in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
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  12. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," Economics Working Papers 104, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from France and Japan," NBER Working Papers 4612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
  15. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1991. "Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195069020.
  16. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  17. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Quah, Danny T, 1996. " Convergence Empirics across Economies with (Some) Capital Mobility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 95-124, March.
  19. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
  21. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  22. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  23. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
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