IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Predictors of Employment Growth and Unemployment in U.S. Central Cities, 1990-2010

  • Laura Wolf-Powers

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Registered author(s):

    This paper considers employment growth and unemployment from 1990-2010 in a cross-section of cities in light of practical tools that city governments have at their disposal to provide relief. In particular, I test educational attainment (both initial levels and growth over time) and public capital investment as influences on job growth and changes in unemployment rates in 83 central cities in the United States. Change in educational attainment over time is suggestive of causing higher job growth and lower unemployment. The implication is that initiatives to attract and retain college-educated professionals and investments in increasing college attainment among incumbent residents have the potential to reduce joblessness and improve social welfare. Despite some evidence that public capital outlays led to employment growth and reduced unemployment in the 1990s, the overall association between capital outlays and labor market health is weak. Intergovernmental spending as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), however, was found to have a positive effect on unemployment rates in 2009 and 2010. A relatively weak correlation between the two dependent variables used in the analysis—employment growth and unemployment rates—underscores the mitigating roles of migration and labor force participation in translating job creation into employment growth for members of the unemployed population.

    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:
    Download Restriction: This material is copyrighted. Permission is required to reproduce any or all parts.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 13-199.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Jun 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:13-199
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 300 S. Westnedge Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 USA
    Phone: 1-269-343-5541
    Fax: 1-269-343-7310
    Web page:

    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. Carlino, Gerald A. & Voith, Richard, 1992. "Accounting for differences in aggregate state productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 597-617, November.
    2. Jed Kolko & David Neumark, 2009. "Do Some Enterprise Zones Create Jobs?," NBER Working Papers 15206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Randall W. Eberts, 1986. "Estimating the contribution of urban public infrastructure to regional growth," Working Paper 8610, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
    5. Kevin T. Duffy-Deno & Randall W. Eberts, 1989. "Public infrastructure and regional economic development: a simultaneous equations approach," Working Paper 8909, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Glaeser, E.L. & Scheinkman, J.A., 1993. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1645, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, April.
    8. Robert Tannenwald, 1998. "Come the devolution, will states be able to respond?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 53-73.
    9. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Bidding for Industrial Plants: Does Winning a 'Million Dollar Plant' Increase Welfare?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5cz0h23t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    10. John A. Tatom, 1991. "Public capital and private sector performance," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 3-15.
    11. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Fiscal Spending Jobs Multipliers: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 251-82, August.
    12. Alan H. Peters & Peter S. Fisher, 2002. "State Enterprise Zone Programs: Have They Worked?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number sezp, April.
    13. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    14. J. Paul Elhorst, 2003. "The Mystery of Regional Unemployment Differentials: Theoretical and Empirical Explanations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(5), pages 709-748, December.
    15. Randall W. Eberts & Michael S. Fogerty, 1987. "Estimating the relationship between local, public and private investment," Working Paper 8703, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    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:upj:weupjo:13-199. 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.