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The U.S. as a coastal nation

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  • Jordan Rappaport
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs

Abstract

U.S. economic activity is overwhelmingly concentrated at its ocean and Great Lakes coasts. Economic theory suggests four possible explanations: a present-day productivity effect, a present-day quality-of-life effect, delayed adjustment following a historical productivity or quality-of-life effect, and an agglomeration effect following a historical productivity or quality-of-life effect. Controlling for correlated natural attributes such as the weather and including proximity measures which a priori do not influence quality-of-life, linear regressions suggest that the high coastal concentration of economic activity is primarily due to a productivity effect. Extensively controlling for historical economic density suggests that such a productivity effect continues to be operative today.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordan Rappaport & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "The U.S. as a coastal nation," Research Working Paper RWP 01-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp01-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
    2. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "A Search For Multiple Equilibria In Urban Industrial Structure," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 29-65.
    3. Sadik, Jacques, 2008. "Technology adoption, convergence, and divergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 338-355, February.
    4. Sánchez-Vidal, María & González-Val, Rafael & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2014. "Sequential city growth in the US: Does age matter?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 29-37.
    5. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, Bombs, and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1269-1289, December.
    6. J. Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urbanization and Economic Development," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 275-341, November.
    7. Satyajit Chatterjee, 2004. "On the Contribution of Agglomeration Economies to Spatial Concentration of US Employment," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 164, Econometric Society.

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    Keywords

    Productivity ; Quality of life;

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