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Employment deconcentration: a new perspective on America's postwar urban evolution

  • Gerald Carlino
  • Satyajit Chatterjee

In this study the authors show that during the postwar era, the United States experienced a decline in the share of urban employment accounted for by the relatively dense metropolitan areas and a corresponding rise in the share of relatively less dense ones. This trend, which the authors call employment deconcentration, is distinct from the other well-known regional trend, namely, the postwar movement of jobs and people from the frostbelt to the sunbelt. The authors also show that deconcentration has been accompanied by a similar trend within metropolitan areas, wherein employment share of the denser sections of MSAs has declined and that of the less dense sections risen. The authors provide a general equilibrium model with density-driven congestion costs to suggest an explanation for employment deconcentration.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 01-4.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:01-4
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  1. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
  2. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from France and Japan," NBER Working Papers 4612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  5. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  6. Carlino, Gerald A., 1985. "Declining city productivity and the growth of rural regions: A test of alternative explanations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 11-27, July.
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