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How Centralized is U.S. Metropolitan Employment?

Author

Listed:
  • Jason Brown
  • Maeve Maloney
  • Jordan Rappaport
  • Aaron Smalter Hall

Abstract

Centralized employment remains a benchmark stylization of metropolitan land use.To address its empirical relevance, we delineate \\"central employment zones\\" (CEZs)- central business districts together with nearby concentrated employment|for 183 metropolitan areas in 2000. To do so, we first subjectively classify which census tracts in a training sample of metros belong to their metro's CEZ and then use a learning algorithm to construct a function that predicts our judgment. {{p}} Applying this prediction function to the full cross section of metros estimates the probability we would judge each census tract as belonging to its metro's CEZ. Using a high probability threshold for tract inclusion conservatively delineates a predicted CEZ for each metro. On average, the conservatively predicted CEZs account for only 12 percent of metropolitan employment in 2000. But the distribution of shares is positively skewed, with the conservatively predicted CEZs accounting for at least 20 percent of employment in 29 metros. Employment centralization is considerably higher for agglomerative occupations|those that arguably bene t most from face-to-face contact. The conservatively predicted CEZs account for at least 33 percent of agglomerative employment in 24 metros and at least 50 percent of legal employment in 79 metros.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Brown & Maeve Maloney & Jordan Rappaport & Aaron Smalter Hall, 2017. "How Centralized is U.S. Metropolitan Employment?," Research Working Paper RWP 17-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 16 Nov 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp17-16
    DOI: 10.18651/RWP2017-16
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.18651/RWP2017-16
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central business districts; Employment density; Metropolitan land use;

    JEL classification:

    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis
    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics
    • 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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