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Spatial Evolution of the US Urban System

  • Yannis M. Ioannides

    ()

  • Henry G. Overman

    ()

We test implications of econom c geography models for location,size and growth of cities with US Census data for 1900 - 1990. Our tests involve non-parametr c estimations of stochastic kernels for the distributions of city sizes and growth rates, conditional on various measures of market potential and on features of neighbors. We show that while these relationships change during the twentieth century, by 1990 they stabilize such that the size distribution of cities conditional on a range of spatial variables are all roughly independent of these conditioning variables. In contrast, similar results suggest that there is a spatial element to the city wage distribution. Our parametric estimations for growth rates against market potential, entry of neighbors, and own lagged population imply a negative effect of market potential on growth rates, unless own lagged population is also ncluded, in which case market potential has a positive effect and own lagged population a negative one. Cities grow faster when they are small relative to their market potential. In total, our results support some theoretical predictions, but also provide a number of interesting puzzles.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0018.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0018
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  1. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Overman, Henry G., 2003. "Zipf's law for cities: an empirical examination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 127-137, March.
  2. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 75, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Linda Harris Dobkins & Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Spatial Interactions Among U.S. Cities: 1900-1990," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9913, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  4. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1996. "The role of ports in the making of major cities: Self-agglomeration and hub-effect," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 93-120, April.
  5. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
  6. Fujita, Masahisa & Krugman, Paul & Mori, Tomoya, 1999. "On the evolution of hierarchical urban systems1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 209-251, February.
  7. Henry G. Overman & Yannis Ioannides, 2000. "Cross sectional evolution of the US city size distribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20137, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 36, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  11. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Regional convergence clusters across Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 951-958, April.
  12. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  13. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1997. "Structural stability and evolution of urban systems," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 399-442, August.
  14. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "First Nature, Second Nature, and Metropolitan Location," NBER Working Papers 3740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  16. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  17. Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 1998. "Urban Agglomeration and Dispersion: A Synthesis of Alonso and Krugman," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 333-351, November.
  18. Costas Megir & Danny Quah, 1996. "Regional Convergence Clusters Across Europe," CEP Discussion Papers dp0274, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Gordon H. Hanson, 1998. "Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," NBER Working Papers 6429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1991. "Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195069020, March.
  21. Paul Krugman, 1992. "A Dynamic Spatial Model," NBER Working Papers 4219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
  23. Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
  24. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  25. Sukkoo Kim, 1997. "Economic Integration and Convergence: U.S. Regions, 1840-1987," NBER Working Papers 6335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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