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Employment Concentration across US Counties

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Klaus Desmet
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and CEPR

Abstract

This paper examines the spatial distribution of jobs across US counties and investigates whether sectoral employment is becoming more or less concentrated. The existing literature has found deconcentration (convergence) of employment across urban areas. Cities only cover a small part of the US, though. Using county data, our results indicate that deconcentration is limited to the upper tail of the distribution. The overall picture is one of increasing concentration (divergence). While this seemingly contradicts the well documented deconcentration in manufacturing, we show that these aggregate employment dynamics are driven by services. Non-service sectors - such as manufacturing and farming - are indeed becoming more equally spread across space, but services are becoming increasingly concentrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Fafchamps & Klaus Desmet & Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and CEPR, 2003. "Employment Concentration across US Counties," Economics Series Working Papers 180, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:180
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    Cited by:

    1. Guisinger, Amy Y. & Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben & Owyang, Michael T. & Sinclair, Tara M., 2018. "A state-level analysis of Okun's law," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 239-248.
    2. Desmet, Klaus & Rappaport, Jordan, 2017. "The settlement of the United States, 1800–2000: The long transition towards Gibrat’s law," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 50-68.
    3. Desmet, Klaus & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2009. "Spatial growth and industry age," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2477-2502, November.
    4. Marcel Fafchamps & Michael Koelle & Forhad Shilpi, 2017. "Gold mining and proto-urbanization: recent evidence from Ghana," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 975-1008.
    5. Giulio Bottazzi & Ugo M. Gragnolati & Fabio Vanni, 2017. "Non-linear externalities in firm localization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 1138-1150, August.
    6. Silvia Dal Bianco, 2009. "A Reassessment of Italian Regional Convergence through a Non-Parametric Approach," Quaderni di Dipartimento 099, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    7. Klaus Desmet & Ejaz Ghani & Stephen O'Connell & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2015. "The Spatial Development Of India," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 10-30, January.
    8. Fan, C. Simon & Stark, Oded, 2008. "Rural-to-urban migration, human capital, and agglomeration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 234-247, October.
    9. Südekum, Jens, 2008. "Convergence of the skill composition across German regions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 148-159, March.
    10. Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela & Rosina Moreno-Serrano & Esther Vaya-Valcarce, 2007. "Has concentration evolved similarly in manufacturing and services? A sensitivity analysis," IREA Working Papers 200708, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2007.
    11. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Reprint of development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 765-778.
    12. Gordon Mulligan & Mark Partridge & John Carruthers, 2012. "Central place theory and its reemergence in regional science," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 405-431, April.
    13. Giulio Bottazzi & Fabio Vanni, 2014. "A numerical estimation method for discrete choice models with non-linear externalities," LEM Papers Series 2014/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Arbia, Giuseppe & Piras, Gianfranco, 2009. "A new class of spatial concentration measures," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(12), pages 4471-4481, October.
    15. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Development, agglomeration, and the organization of work," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 459-472.
    16. Ryohei Nakamura & Masahiro Taguchi, 2011. "Agglomeration and Institutional Effects on Dynamics in Regional Disparities: Experience from Poland and Japan," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 25.
    17. Mill�n D�az-Foncea & Carmen Marcuello, 2014. "The Relation between Total Employment and Cooperative Employment: A Convergence and Causality Analysis," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 71-92, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial Distribution; Convergence; Sectoral Employment; US Counties;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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)
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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