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The economic performance of cities: a Markov-switching approach

  • Michael T. Owyang
  • Jeremy M. Piger
  • Howard J. Wall
  • Christopher H. Wheeler

This paper examines the determinants of employment growth in metro areas. To obtain growth rates, we use a Markov-switching model that separates a city’s growth path into two distinct phases (high and low), each with its own growth rate. The simple average growth rate over some period is, therefore, the weighted average of the high-phase and low-phase growth rates, with the weight being the frequency of the two phases. We estimate the effects of a variety of factors separately for the high-phase and low-phase growth rates, along with the frequency of the low phase. We find that growth in the high phase is related to human capital, industry mix, and average firm size. In contrast, we find that growth in the low phase is mostly related to industry mix, specifically, the relative importance of manufacturing. Finally, the frequency of the low phase appears to be related to the level of non-education human capital, but to none of the other variables. Overall, our results strongly reject the notion that city-level characteristics influence employment growth equally across the phases of the business cycle.

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File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2006/2006-056.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2006-056.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Urban Economics, November 2008, 64(3), pp. 538-50
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2006-056
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
  2. Michael T. Owyang & Jeremy Piger & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Business Cycle Phases in U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 604-616, November.
  3. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, . "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 323, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
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  5. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1998. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Staff Reports 41, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Michael T. Owyang & Jeremy M. Piger & Howard J. Wall, 2007. "A state-level analysis of the Great Moderation," Working Papers 2007-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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  10. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  11. Simon, Curtis J, 1988. "Frictional Unemployment and the Role of Industrial Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 715-28, November.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Externalities and Industrial Development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 449-470, November.
  17. Albert, James H & Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes Inference via Gibbs Sampling of Autoregressive Time Series Subject to Markov Mean and Variance Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.
  18. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "Urban colossus: why is New York America's largest city?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 7-24.
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  21. Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Nominal loss aversion, housing equity constraints, and household mobility: evidence from the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 171-195, January.
  22. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1998. "Business Cycle Turning Points, A New Coincident Index, And Tests Of Duration Dependence Based On A Dynamic Factor Model With Regime Switching," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 188-201, May.
  23. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  24. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "State-Space Models with Regime Switching: Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262112388, June.
  25. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2006. "Synchronization of cycles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 59-79, May.
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