IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Urbanization in the United States, 1800-2000

Listed author(s):
  • Leah Platt Boustan
  • Devin Bunten
  • Owen Hearey

This handbook chapter seeks to document the economic forces that led the US to become an urban nation over its two hundred year history. We show that the urban wage premium in the US was remarkably stable over the past two centuries, ranging between 15 and 40 percent, while the rent premium was more variable. The urban wage premium rose through the mid-nineteenth century as new manufacturing technologies enhanced urban productivity; then fell from 1880 to 1940 (especially through 1915) as investments in public health infrastructure improved the urban quality of life; and finally rose sharply after 1980, coinciding with the skill- (and apparently also urban-) biased technological change of the computer revolution. The second half of the chapter focuses instead on the location of workers and firms within metropolitan areas. Over the twentieth century, both households and employment have relocated from the central city to the suburban ring. The two forces emphasized in the monocentric city model, rising incomes and falling commuting costs, can explain much of this pattern, while urban crime and racial diversity also played a role.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19041.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19041.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: May 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19041
Note: DAE
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2012. "Portage and Path Dependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 587-644.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
  3. Cain, Louis & Hong, Sok Chul, 2009. "Survival in 19th century cities: The larger the city, the smaller your chances," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 450-463, October.
  4. Rosenberg, Nathan & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2004. "A General-Purpose Technology at Work: The Corliss Steam Engine in the Late-Nineteenth-Century United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(01), pages 61-99, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Paul W. Rhode & Koleman S. Strumpf, 2003. "Assessing the Importance of Tiebout Sorting: Local Heterogeneity from 1850 to 1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1648-1677, December.
  8. Shihe Fu, 2005. "Smart Cafe Cities: Testing Human Capital Externalities in the Boston Metropolitan Area," Working Papers 05-24, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Nathaniel Baum-snow & Ronni Pavan, 2009. "Understanding the City Size Wage Gap," 2009 Meeting Papers 524, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Kesztenbaum, Lionel & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2011. "The health cost of living in a city: The case of France at the end of the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 207-225, April.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Decentralized Employment and the Transformation of the American City," NBER Working Papers 8117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2005. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns be Rich?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1579, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2013. "Entrepreneurship And Urban Growth:An Empirical Assessment With Historical Mines," Working Papers 13-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. Michael R. Haines, 2001. "The Urban Mortality Transition in the United States, 1800-1940," NBER Historical Working Papers 0134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Brueckner, J.K. & Thisse, J.-F. & Zenou, Y., 1996. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor ? An amenity-based theory," CORE Discussion Papers 1996065, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Leah Boustan & Allison Shertzer, 2013. "Population Trends as a Counterweight to Central City Decline, 1950–2000," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 125-147, February.
  18. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315.
  19. William J. Collins & Katharine L. Shester, 2013. "Slum Clearance and Urban Renewal in the United States," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 239-273, January.
  20. Sturm, Daniel & Ahlfeldt, Gabriel & Redding, Stephen & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2013. "The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79873, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  21. Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Estimating the Social Return to Higher Education: Evidence From Longitudinal and Repeated Cross-Sectional Data," NBER Working Papers 9108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Guy Michaels & Ferdinand Rauch & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Urbanisation and Structural Transformation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0892, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
  24. Daniel P. McMillen & John F. McDonald, 2002. "Land Values In A Newly Zoned City," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 62-72, February.
  25. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 536-598, 06.
  26. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  27. Weiman, David F., 1988. "Urban Growth on the Periphery of the Antebellum Cotton Belt: Atlanta, 1847–1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(02), pages 259-272, June.
  28. Devin Bunten & Stephan Weiler & Eric Thompson & Sammy Zahran, 2015. "Entrepreneurship, Information, And Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 560-584, 09.
  29. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E. & Rappaport, Jordan, 2008. "Why do the poor live in cities The role of public transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-24, January.
  30. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "Bones, Bombs and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 8517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. 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.
  32. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
  33. Leah Platt Boustan, 2010. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 417-443.
  34. David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
  35. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities," NBER Working Papers 5737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Gaspari, K. Celeste & Woolf, Arthur G., 1985. "Income, Public Works, and Mortality in Early Twentieth-Century American Cities," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 355-361, June.
  37. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-342, April.
  38. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2004. "Geography and the Internet: is the Internet a substitute or a complement for cities?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-24, July.
  39. Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 1988. "Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence From Patent Records, 1790–1846," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 813-850, December.
  40. Margo, Robert A., 1992. "Explaining the postwar suburbanization of population in the United States: The role of income," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 301-310, May.
  41. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2010. "Is urban decay bad? Is urban revitalization bad too?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 277-289, November.
  42. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
  43. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2010. "Portage: Path Dependence and Increasing Returns in U.S. History," NBER Working Papers 16314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Troesken, Werner, 2002. "The Limits Of Jim Crow: Race And The Provision Of Water And Sewerage Services In American Cities, 1880 1925," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(03), pages 734-772, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19041. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.