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The Pitfalls of Using Location Quotients to Identify Clusters and Represent Industry Specialization in Small Regions
This paper examines the use of location quotients, a measure of regional business activity relative to the national benchmark, as an indicator of sectoral agglomeration in small cities and towns, and as a measure of industry specialization that might impact the number of new business startups in these places. Using establishment-level data on businesses located in Maine, our findings suggest that the addition of one "hypothetical" establishment in very small towns leads to a dramatic change in the magnitude of the region-industry location quotient. At population sizes of about 4,100 or more ...
Agglomeration and innovation
Draft chapter for the forthcoming Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Vols. 5A and 5B This paper reviews academic research on the connections between agglomeration and innovation. The authors first describe the conceptual distinctions between invention and innovation. They then discuss how these factors are frequently measured in the data and note some resulting empirical regularities. Innovative activity tends to be more concentrated than industrial activity, and the authors discuss important findings from the literature about why this is so. The authors highlight the traits of ...
Why Are Wal-Mart and Target Next-Door Neighbors?
One of the most notable changes in the U.S. retail market over the past twenty years has been the rise of Big Box stores, retail chains characterized by physically large stores selling a wide range of consumer goods at discount prices. A growing literature has examined the impacts of Big Box stores on other retailers and consumers, but relatively little is known about how Big Box stores choose locations. Because Big Box stores offer highly standardized products and compete primarily on price, it is likely that they will seek to establish spatial monopolies, far from competitor stores. In this ...
Agglomeration and job matching among college graduates
We examine job matching as a potential source of urban agglomeration economies. Focusing on college graduates, we construct two direct measures of job matching based on how well an individual?s job corresponds to his or her college education. Consistent with matching-based theories of urban agglomeration, we find evidence that larger and thicker local labor markets increase both the likelihood and quality of a job match for college graduates. We then assess the extent to which better job matching of college-educated workers increases individual-level wages and thereby contributes to the urban ...
Evidence on the Within-Industry Agglomeration of R&D, Production, and Administrative Occupations
To date, most empirical studies of industrial agglomeration rely on data where observations are assigned an industry code based on classification systems such as NAICS in North America and NACE in Europe. This study combines industry data with occupation data to show that there are important differences in the spatial patterns of occupation groups within the widely used industry definitions. We focus on workers in manufacturing industries, whose occupations almost always fit into three groups: production, administrative, or R&D. We then employ two approaches to document the spatial ...
Congestion, Agglomeration, and the Structure of Cities
Supersede WP 13-25. Congestion costs in urban areas are significant and clearly represent a negative externality. Nonetheless, economists also recognize the production advantages of urban density in the form of positive agglomeration externalities. The long-run equilibrium outcomes in economies with multiple correlated but o setting externalities have yet to be fully explored in the literature. Therefore, I develop a spatial equilibrium model of urban structure that includes both congestion costs and agglomeration externalities. I then estimate the structural parameters of the model using a ...
Interview: Steven Davis
As a student at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., in the mid-1970s, Steven Davis took an elective course on economics that piqued his interest. When he went on to college at Portland State University, he initially picked economics as his major but figured he might switch to sociology or international relations. In the end, however, economics won out. "Those fields struck me as interesting," he says, "but economics seemed to offer a more useful set of tools for understanding social and economic issues."
Do Big Cities Help College Graduates Find Better Jobs?
Although the unemployment rate of workers with a college degree has remained well below average since the Great Recession, there is growing concern that college graduates are increasingly underemployed?that is, working in a job that does not require a college degree or the skills acquired through their chosen field of study. Our recent New York Fed staff report indicates that one important factor affecting the ability of workers to find jobs that match their skills is where they look for a job. In particular, we show that looking for a job in big cities, which have larger and thicker local ...