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Empirical Polycentricity: The Complex Relationship Between Employment Centers

  • Steven Craig

    ()

    (University of Houston)

  • Janet Kohlhase

    ()

    (University of Houston)

  • Adam Perdue

    ()

    (University of Houston)

This paper empirically finds that employment subcenters have the expected connections with the central business district, but additionally have important relationships with each other. Using data from Houston, Texas, USA, we use a new proximity measure to estimate a polycentric density function, and show that the estimated gradient using the total derivative, allowing for the relationship between all subcenters, is much different than the gradient using only the own center coefficients. Further, we model asymmetry in the density function by limiting the employment center influence using commuting data, and testing the influence of over-lapping areas for both population and employment. We find significant asymmetry both within, and even outside of the commuting areas. We conclude that subcenters have important linkages to each other in addition to the CBD, and that therefore the polycentric city is more complex than additional centers mimicking the CBD.

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File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/2014-055-59.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Houston in its series Working Papers with number 2014-055-59.

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Date of creation: 24 Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2014-055-59
Contact details of provider: Postal: Houston TX 77023
Web page: http://www.uh.edu/class/economics/

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  1. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser & William Kerr, 2007. "What Causes Industry Agglomeration? Evidence from Coagglomeration Patterns," NBER Working Papers 13068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 2008. "Urban growth and subcenter formation: A trolley ride from the Staples Center to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 679-693, March.
  3. Craig, Steven G. & Ng, Pin T., 2001. "Using Quantile Smoothing Splines to Identify Employment Subcenters in a Multicentric Urban Area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 100-120, January.
  4. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
  5. Janet Kohlhase & Xiahong Ju, 2007. "Firm location in a polycentric city: the effects of taxes and agglomeration economies on location decisions," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(5), pages 671-691, October.
  6. Redfearn, Christian L., 2007. "The topography of metropolitan employment: Identifying centers of employment in a polycentric urban area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 519-541, May.
  7. Alex Anas & Richard Arnott & Kenneth A. Small, 1998. "Urban Spatial Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1426-1464, September.
  8. McMillen, Daniel P., 2001. "Nonparametric Employment Subcenter Identification," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 448-473, November.
  9. Sivitanidou, Rena, 1996. "Do Office-Commercial Firms Value Access to Service Employment Centers? A Hedonic Value Analysis within Polycentric Los Angeles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 125-149, September.
  10. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
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