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A quantitative assessment of the role of agglomeration economies in the spatial concentration of U.S. employment

  • Satyajit Chatterjee

This paper seeks to quantify the contribution of agglomeration economies to the spatial concentration of U.S. employment. A spatial macroeconomic model with heterogeneous localities and agglomeration economies is developed and calibrated to U.S. data on the spatial distribution of employment. The model is used to answer the question: By how much would the spatial concentration of employment decline if agglomeration economies were counterfactually suppressed? For the most plausible calibration, the answer is about 48 percent. More generally, the general equilibrium contribution of agglomeration economies appears to be substantial, with empirically defensible calibrations yielding estimates between 40 and 60 percent.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 06-20.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:06-20
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  1. 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.
  2. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Gerald Carlino & Satyajit Chatterjee, 2001. "Employment deconcentration: a new perspective on America's postwar urban evolution," Working Papers 01-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. 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.
  5. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  6. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  7. Jordan Rappaport, 2006. "A productivity model of city crowdedness," Research Working Paper RWP 06-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  8. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  9. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1862, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Moomaw, Ronald L, 1981. "Productivity and City Size? A Critique of the Evidence [Are There Returns to Scale in City Size?]. [Bias in the Cross Section Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-88, November.
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