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Author:Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban 

Working Paper
Rethinking Detroit

We study the urban structure of the City of Detroit. Following many decades of decline, the city?s current urban structure is clearly not optimal for its size, with a business district immediately surrounded by a ring of largely vacant neighborhoods. We propose a model with residential externalities that features multiple equilibria at the neighborhood level. In particular, developing a residential area requires the coordination of developers and residents, without which it may remain vacant even if its fundamentals are sound. We embed this mechanism in a quantitative spatial economics model ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 11

Working Paper
Location as an Asset

The location of individuals determines their job opportunities, living amenities, and housing costs. We argue that it is useful to conceptualize the location choice of individuals as a decision to invest in a ?location asset?. This asset has a cost equal to the location?s rent, and a payoff through better job opportunities and, potentially, more human capital for the individual and her children. As with any asset, savers in the location asset transfer resources into the future by going to expensive locations with good future opportunities. In contrast, borrowers transfer resources to the ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 12

Discussion Paper
Urban structure and growth

Most economic activity occurs in cities. This creates a tension between local increasing returns, implied by the existence of cities, and aggregate constant returns, implied by balanced growth. To address this tension, we develop a theory of economic growth in an urban environment. We show how the urban structure is the margin that eliminates local increasing returns to yield constant returns to scale in the aggregate, thereby implying a city size distribution that is well described by a power distribution with coefficient one: Zipf's Law. Under strong assumptions our theory produces Zipf's ...
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics , Paper 141

Conference Paper
The rise of offshoring: it's not wine for cloth anymore

Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole

Working Paper
The Impact of Regional and Sectoral Productivity Changes on the U.S. Economy

We study the impact of regional and sectoral productivity changes on the U.S. economy. To that end, we consider an environment that captures the effects of interregional and intersectoral trade in propagating disaggregated productivity changes at the level of a sector in a given U.S. state to the rest of the economy. The quantitative model we develop features pairwise interregional trade across all 50 U.S. states, 26 traded and non-traded industries, labor as a mobile factor, and structures and land as an immobile factor. We allow for sectoral linkages in the form of an intermediate input ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1119

Working Paper
Spinoffs and the market for ideas

We present a theory of spinoffs in which the key ingredient is the originator?s private information concerning the quality of his new idea. Because quality is privately observed, by the standard adverse-selection logic, the market can at best offer a price that reflects the average quality of ideas sold. This gives the holders of above-average-quality ideas the incentive to spin off. We show that only workers with very good ideas decide to spin off, while workers with mediocre ideas sell them. Entrepreneurs of existing firms pay a price for the ideas sold in the market that implies zero ...
Working Papers , Paper 08-26

Working Paper
Spin-offs and the market for ideas

The authors propose a theory of firm dynamics in which workers have ideas for new projects that can be sold in a market to existing firms or implemented in new firms: spin-offs. Workers have private information about the quality of their ideas. Because of an adverse selection problem, workers can sell their ideas to existing firms only at a price that is not contingent on their information. The authors show that the option to spin off in the future is valuable so only workers with very good ideas decide to spin off and set up a new firm. Since entrepreneurs of existing firms pay a price for ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-15

Working Paper
Housing externalities : evidence from spatially concentrated urban revitalization programs

Using data compiled from concentrated residential urban revitalization programs implemented in Richmond, VA, between 1999 and 2004, we study residential externalities. Specifically, we provide evidence that in neighborhoods targeted by the programs, sites that did not directly benefit from capital improvements nevertheless experienced considerable increases in land value relative to similar sites in a control neighborhood. Within the targeted neighborhoods, increases in land value are consistent with externalities that fall exponentially with distance. In particular, we estimate that housing ...
Working Paper , Paper 08-03

Working Paper
Diverging Trends in National and Local Concentration

Using U.S. NETS data, we present evidence that the positive trend observed in national product-market concentration between 1990 and 2014 becomes a negative trend when we focus on measures of local concentration. We document diverging trends for several geographic definitions of local markets. SIC 8 industries with diverging trends are pervasive across sectors. In these industries, top firms have contributed to the amplification of both trends. When a top firm opens a plant, local concentration declines and remains lower for at least seven years. Our findings, therefore, reconcile the ...
Working Paper , Paper 18-15

Working Paper
The impact of regional and sectoral productivity changes on the U.S. economy

We study the impact of regional and sectoral productivity changes on the U.S. economy. To that end, we consider an environment that captures the effects of interregional and intersectoral trade in propagating disaggregated productivity changes at the level of a sector in a given U.S. state to the rest of the economy. The quantitative model we develop features pairwise interregional trade across all 50 U.S. states, 26 traded and non-traded industries, labor as a mobile factor, and structures and land as an immobile factor. We allow for sectoral linkages in the form of an intermediate input ...
Working Paper , Paper 13-14

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