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Human capital and economic activity in urban America

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  • Jaison R. Abel
  • Todd M. Gabe

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between human capital and economic activity in U.S. metropolitan areas, extending the existing literature in two important ways. First, we utilize new data on metropolitan-area GDP to measure economic activity. Using educational attainment as an indicator of human capital, we find that a one-percentage-point increase in the proportion of residents with a college degree is associated with a 2.3 percent increase in metropolitan-area GDP per capita. Second, we move beyond the conventional proxy for human capital (educational attainment) to develop new measures that reflect the types of knowledge within U.S. metropolitan areas. Results show that knowledge associated with the provision of producer services and information technology are particularly important determinants of economic vitality in U.S. metropolitan areas.

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  • Jaison R. Abel & Todd M. Gabe, 2008. "Human capital and economic activity in urban America," Staff Reports 332, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:332
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Backman, Mikaela & Gabe, Todd & Mellander, Charlotta, 2016. "Effects of Human Capital on the Growth and Survival of Swedish Businesses," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 46(1).
    2. Backman, Mikaela, 2013. "Regional Variation of Returns to Education," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 300, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    3. Todd Gabe & Jaison Abel & Adrienne Ross & Kevin Stolarick, 2012. "Knowledge in Cities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(6), pages 1179-1200, May.
    4. Krenz, Astrid, 2016. "Agglomeration of knowledge in the German regional economy," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 277, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. Shin-Kun Peng, 2014. "Housing Market and Agglomeration of Rent-Seeking Activities: Implications for Regional Development," ERSA conference papers ersa14p326, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Benos, Nikos & Karagiannis, Stelios, 2016. "Do education quality and spillovers matter? Evidence on human capital and productivity in Greece," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 563-573.
    7. repec:bla:growch:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:153-173 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. John Winters, 2012. "Differences in employment outcomes for college town stayers and leavers," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-17, December.
    9. Up Lim & Ye Choi & Heonyoung Lee, 2015. "Occupational skills and the gender wage gap in Seoul, Korea: a multilevel approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 55(2), pages 335-356, December.
    10. Haifeng Qian & Hyejin Jung, 2017. "Solving the knowledge filter puzzle: absorptive capacity, entrepreneurship and regional development," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 99-114, January.
    11. Ernest Miguelez & Rosina Moreno & Manuel Artis, 2011. "Does Social Capital Reinforce Technological Inputs in the Creation of Knowledge? Evidence from the Spanish Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(8), pages 1019-1038.
    12. Todd Gabe & Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander, 2012. "The Creative Class and the crisis," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 6(1), pages 37-53.
    13. Jaison R. Abel & Todd M. Gabe & Kevin Stolarick, 2014. "Skills across the Urban–Rural Hierarchy," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 499-517, December.
    14. Krenz, Astrid, 2014. "Agglomeration of knowledge: A regional economic analysis for the German economy," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 206, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    15. Jaison R. Abel & Richard Deitz, 2011. "The role of colleges and universities in building local human capital," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 17(Oct).
    16. Jaison R. Abel & Todd M. Gabe & Kevin Stolarick, 2012. "Workforce skills across the urban-rural hierarchy," Staff Reports 552, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    17. Benos, Nikos & Karagiannis, Stelios, 2013. "Do Cross-Section Dependence and Parameter Heterogeneity Matter? Evidence on Human Capital and Productivity in Greece," MPRA Paper 53326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Javier García-Estévez & Néstor Duch-Brown, 2012. "Student graduation: to what extent does university expenditure matter?," Working Papers 2012/4, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    19. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander & Patrick Adler, 2011. "The Creative Class Paradigm," Chapters,in: Handbook of Creative Cities, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    Keywords

    Human capital ; Metropolitan areas - Statistics ; Gross domestic product ; Education - Economic aspects;

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