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A Search for Multiple Equilibria in Urban Industrial Structure

  • Donald R. Davis
  • David E. Weinstein

Theories featuring multiple equilibria are now widespread across many fields of economics. Yet little empirical work has asked if such multiple equilibria are salient features of real economies. We examine this in the context of the Allied bombing of Japanese cities and industries in WWII. We develop a new empirical test for multiple equilibria and apply it to data for 114 Japanese cities in eight manufacturing industries. The data provide no support for the existence of multiple equilibria. In the aftermath even of immense shocks, a city typically recovers not only its population and its share of aggregate manufacturing, but even the specific industries it had before.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10252.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Publication status: published as Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "A Search For Multiple Equilibria In Urban Industrial Structure," Journal of Regional Science, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(1), pages 29-65.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10252
Note: IO PE
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  1. Krugman, Paul R & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-80, November.
  2. Paul A.David, 2005. "Path dependence, its critics and the quest for ‘historical economics’," Economic History 0502003, EconWPA.
  3. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, bombs and break points: The geography of economic activity," Discussion Papers 0102-02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Industrialization and the Big Push," NBER Working Papers 2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jordan Rappaport & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "The U.S. as a coastal nation," Research Working Paper RWP 01-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  6. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-67, May.
  7. Russell W. Cooper, 2002. "Estimation and Identification of Structural Parameters in the Presence of Multiple Equilibria," NBER Working Papers 8941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2001. "Externalities and Cities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 245-274, April.
  9. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
  10. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  11. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  12. Andrea Moro, 2003. "The Effect Of Statistical Discrimination On Black-White Wage Inequality: Estimating A Model With Multiple Equilibria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 467-500, 05.
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