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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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    File URL: https://www.kansascityfed.org/documents/5410/pdf-RWP01-11.pdf
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    Cited by:

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    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, February.
    3. Satyajit Chatterjee, 2004. "On the Contribution of Agglomeration Economies to the Spatial Concentration of U.S. Employment," 2004 Meeting Papers 192, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Sadik, Jacques, 2008. "Technology adoption, convergence, and divergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 338-355, February.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. J. Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urbanization and Economic Development," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 275-341, November.

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    Keywords

    Productivity; Quality of life;

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