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The GLA’s interim metro area dataset


  • Freeman, Alan


This paper reproduces, in citable form and, for scholarly purposes, the report of the same name produced by the author for the Greater London Authority. GLA Economics prepared its interim dataset on the output and population of 35 European cities, for use within the GLA group when London is benchmarked against these cities. The need for this dataset arose because there is no agreed standard, either worldwide or in Europe, for measuring a city, or even for defining where it begins or ends. Existing estimates differ widely. In a previous working paper, we compared estimates of city productivity growth available from three sources, and found that the differences between these sources were greater than between the cities themselves. These differences affected such basic questions as, for example, whether German cities were growing faster, or slower, than British cities. Economic conclusions about cities in Europe, in short, depend on who provides the data. Although a number of international agencies are working on this problem, with whom GLA Economics works closely,at the time of publication no agreed standard exists. The GLA therefore prepared this dataset for its own purposes, as a standard against which to judge others and as the basis for its own decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 2007. "The GLA’s interim metro area dataset," MPRA Paper 18130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18130

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freeman, Alan, 2004. "Measuring and Comparing World Cities," MPRA Paper 18103, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Freeman, Alan, 2005. "Towards a common standard: comparing European and American cities," MPRA Paper 18104, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item


    Keywords: City; global city; Functional Urban Region; Larger Urban Zone; Territorial Indicators; Metropolitan Region; pluralism;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General


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