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Geographic Inequality of Economic Well-being among U.S. Cities: Evidence from Micro Panel Data

Author

Listed:
  • Choi, Chi-Young

    () (University of Texas at Arlington)

  • Chudik, Alexander

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

Abstract

We analyze the geographic inequality of economic well-being among U.S. cities by utilizing a novel measure of quantity based product-level economic well-being, i.e., the number of goods and services that can be purchased by consumers with an average city wage. We find a considerable cross-city dispersion in the economic well-being and the geographic dispersion has been on the steady rise since the mid-1990s for most goods and services under study. Strong geographic correlations exist in the local economic well-being and our empirical analysis based on a Global VAR (GVAR) model suggests that national shocks are an important source behind it. On average, about 30-35% of the variance of local well-being is explained by common national shocks, but the impact of common national shocks varies considerably across products, albeit to a lesser extent across cities. Nationwide unemployment shock, for example, has a stronger effect in the products whose prices are adjusted more frequently and in the cities that have a larger fraction of high-skill workers. Taken together, our results indicate that the geographic inequality of economic well-being observed in the U.S. has proceeded over time mainly through the products with more flexible price adjustments and in the cities with higher concentration of skilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Choi, Chi-Young & Chudik, Alexander, 2017. "Geographic Inequality of Economic Well-being among U.S. Cities: Evidence from Micro Panel Data," Globalization Institute Working Papers 330, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:330
    DOI: 10.24149/gwp330
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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