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Firm Fragmentation and Urban Patterns

  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg

    (Stanford University)

  • Pierre-Daniel Sarte

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

  • Raymond Owens

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

We document several empirical regularities regarding the evolution of urban structure in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas over the period 1980-1990. These regularities relate to changes in resident population, employment, occupations, as well as the number and size of establishments in different sections of the metropolitan area. We then propose a theory of urban structure that emphasizes the location and integration decisions of firms. In particular, firms can decide to locate their headquarters and operation plants in different regions of the city. Given that cities experienced positive population growth throughout the 1980s, we show that our theory accounts for the diverse facts documented in the paper.

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File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/04-019.pdf
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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 04-019.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:04-019
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  1. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2002. "From Sectoral to Functional Urban Specialization," NBER Working Papers 9112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alex Anas & Richard Arnott & Kenneth A. Small, 1998. "Urban Spatial Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1426-1464, September.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Optimal Urban Land Use and Zoning," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 69-106, January.
  6. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
  8. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435, November.
  11. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Urbanization and Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 24, pages 1543-1591 Elsevier.
  12. Kim, Sukkoo, 1999. "The Rise of Multiunit Firms in U.S. Manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 360-386, October.
  13. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  14. Henderson, J. Vernon & Ono, Yukako, 2008. "Where do manufacturing firms locate their headquarters?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 431-450, March.
  15. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2008. "The agglomeration of headquarters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 445-460, September.
  16. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
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