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Author:Lin, Jeffrey 

Working Paper
What Future for History Dependence in Spatial Economics?

History (sometimes) matters for the location and sizes of cities and neighborhood segregation patterns within cities. Together with evidence on rapid neighborhood change and self-fulfilling expectations, this implies that nature might not completely determine the spatial structure of the economy. Instead, the spatial economy might be characterized by multiple equilibria or multiple steady-state equilibrium paths, where history and expectations can play decisive roles. Better evidence on the conditions under which history matters can help improve theory and policy analysis.
Working Papers , Paper 20-47

Journal Article
Understanding Gentrification’s Causes

What do three centuries of Philadelphia history tell us about today?s changing neighborhoods?
Economic Insights , Volume 2 , Issue 3 , Pages 9-17

Working Paper
The Well-Being of Nations: Estimating Welfare from International Migration

The limitations of GDP as a measure of welfare are well known. We propose a new method of estimating the well-being of nations. Using gross bilateral international migration flows and a discrete choice model in which everyone in the world chooses a country in which to live, we estimate each country?s overall quality of life. Our estimates, by relying on revealed preference, complement previous estimates of economic well-being that consider only income or a small number of factors, or rely on structural assumptions about how these factors contribute to wellbeing.
Working Papers , Paper 19-33

Journal Article
The paper trail of knowledge transfers

Why do firms tend to locate near other firms? Economists suspect that geographic clustering spurs innovation by letting businesses tap a climate rich in informal transfers of knowledge. By tracing links between inventors filing for patents for the same inventions, Jeffrey Lin shares new evidence supporting the idea that proximity offers businesses tangible benefits.
Business Review , Issue Q2 , Pages 1-6

Working Paper
Freeway Revolts!

Freeway revolts were widespread protests across the U.S. following early urban Interstate construction in the mid-1950s. We present theory and evidence from panel data on neighborhoods and travel behavior to show that diminished quality of life from freeway disamenities inspired the revolts, a?ected the allocation of freeways within cities, and changed city structure. First, actual freeway construction diverged from initial plans in the wake of the growing freeway revolts and subsequent policy responses, especially in central neighborhoods. Second, freeways caused slower growth in population, ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-29

Working Paper
Technological adaptation, cities and new work

Where does adaptation to innovation take place? The author presents evidence on the role of agglomeration economies in the application of new knowledge to production. All else equal, workers are more likely to be observed in new work in locations that are initially dense in both college graduates and industry variety. This pattern is consistent with economies of density from the geographic concentration of factors and markets related to technological adaptation. A main contribution is to use a new measure, based on revisions to occupation classifications, to closely characterize ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-17

Journal Article
The puzzling persistence of place

Jeffrey Lin explores the remarkable persistence of urban development patterns over decades, centuries, or even millennia. Is such extreme persistence desirable? What does it imply about today's "place-making" policies?
Business Review , Issue Q2 , Pages 1-8

Working Paper
Natural amenities, neighborhood dynamics, and persistence in the spatial distribution of income

We present theory and evidence highlighting the role of natural amenities in neighborhood dynamics, suburbanization, and variation across cities in the persistence of the spatial distribution of income. Our model generates three predictions that we confirm using a novel database of consistent-boundary neighborhoods in U.S. metropolitan areas, 1880{2010, and spatial data for natural features such as coastlines and hills. First, persistent natural amenities anchor neighborhoods to high incomes over time. Second, naturally heterogeneous cities exhibit persistent spatial distributions of income. ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-46

Working Paper
Portage: path dependence and increasing returns in U.S. history

The authors examine portage sites in the U.S. South, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, including those on the fall line, a geomorphologic feature in the southeastern U.S. marking the final rapids on rivers before the ocean. Historically, waterborne transport of goods required portage around the falls at these points, while some falls provided water power during early industrialization. These factors attracted commerce and manufacturing. Although these original advantages have long since been made obsolete, the authors document the continuing-and even increasing-importance of these portage sites over ...
Working Papers , Paper 10-27

Working Paper
Thick-market effects and churning in the labor market: evidence from U.S. cities

Using U.S. Census microdata, the authors show that, on average, workers change occupation and industry less in more densely populated areas. The result is robust to standard demographic controls, as well as to including aggregate measures of human capital and sectoral mix. Analysis of the displaced worker surveys shows that this effect is present in cases of involuntary separation as well. On the other hand, the authors actually find the opposite result (higher rates of occupational and industrial switching) for the subsample of younger workers. These results provide evidence in favor of ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-23

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