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Industry Churning and the Evolution of Cities: Evidence for Germany

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  • Findeisen, Sebastian

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • Suedekum, Jens

    () (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)

Abstract

In this paper we show that the recent model by Duranton (AER, 2007) performs remarkably well in replicating the city size distribution of West Germany, much better than the simple rank-size rule known as Zipf’s law. The main mechanism of this theoretical framework is the “churning” of industries across cities. Little is known so far about the determinants of local industry turnover, however. We present an empirical analysis of the excess churning index for West German cities, which describes the strength of intra-city industry reallocations that has occurred over time. We find that human capital is a key driver of growth and local industrial change, but only among successful cities. Industrial change within unsuccessful cities is strongly driven by the disappearance of old-fashioned and declining industries such as agriculture or mining. On a more general level, our results suggest that the recent model by Duranton is a powerful description of the urban growth process. Still there are some aspects that are not captured by that model, which are at the core of other theories of urban growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Findeisen, Sebastian & Suedekum, Jens, 2007. "Industry Churning and the Evolution of Cities: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3180, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3180
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    Cited by:

    1. William R. Kerr, 2010. "Breakthrough Inventions and Migrating Clusters of Innovation," NBER Chapters, in: Cities and Entrepreneurship, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Wolfgang Dauth & Jens Suedekum, 2016. "Globalization and local profiles of economic growth and industrial change," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(5), pages 1007-1034.
    3. Delgado, Mercedes & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Clusters, convergence, and economic performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1785-1799.
    4. Duranton, Gilles, 2010. "Urban Growth: Trends Vs. Noise," Revista Galega de Economía, University of Santiago de Compostela. Faculty of Economics and Business., vol. 19(ex).
    5. FU, Shihe & DONG, Xiaofang & CHAI, Guojun, 2010. "Industry specialization, diversification, churning, and unemployment in Chinese cities," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 508-520, December.
    6. Cuberes, David, 2011. "Sequential city growth: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 229-239, March.
    7. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Stephen L., 2015. "Change and Persistence in the Economic Status of Neighborhoods and Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.),Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1047-1120, Elsevier.
    8. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2014. "The Growth of Cities," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.),Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 5, pages 781-853, Elsevier.
    9. Fulvio Castellacci & Davide Consoli & Artur Santoalha, 2018. "Technological Diversification in European Regions: The Role of E-skills," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20181009, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    10. Antonio Accetturo & Michele Cascarano & Guido de Blasio, 2019. "Dynamics of urban growth: Italy, 1951–2011," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(2), pages 373-398, July.
    11. Zenou, Yves, 2009. "Endogenous job destruction and job matching in cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 323-336, May.
    12. Ikeda, Kiyohrio & Onda, Mikihisa & Takayama, Yuki, 2017. "Bifurcation theory of a square lattice economy: Racetrack economy analogy in an economic geography model," MPRA Paper 78120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Schran, Felix, 2019. "Locational Choice and Spatial Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12660, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Kim, Woo-Yung & Hong, Sung Hyo, 2019. "Local employment multipliers when living and working areas are different," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 47-50.
    15. Glaeser, Edward L. & Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2010. "Urban economics and entrepreneurship," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-14, January.
    16. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Arne Feddersen, 2010. "From periphery to core: economic adjustments to high speed rail," Working Papers 2010/38, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    17. Su, Hsuan-Li, 2020. "On the city size distribution: A finite mixture interpretation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    18. Gilles DURANTON, 2012. "La Croissance Urbaine : Déterminismes Vs Bruit," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 36, pages 11-30.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    structural change; city size distribution; churning; industry turnover; urban growth; Zipf’s law;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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