Urban Growth Shadows

53 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021 Last revised: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by David Cuberes

David Cuberes

University of Sheffield

Klaus Desmet

Southern Methodist University (SMU); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jordan Rappaport

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2021


Does a location's growth benefit or suffer from being geographically close to large economic centers? Spatial proximity may lead to competition and hurt growth, but it may also improve market access and enhance growth. Using data on U.S. counties and metro areas for the period 1840-2017, we document this tradeoff between urban shadows and urban access. Proximity to large urban centers was negatively associated with growth between 1840 and 1920, and positively associated with growth after 1920. Using a two-city spatial model, we show that the secular evolution of inter-city and intra-city commuting costs can account for this. Alternatively, the long-run decline in inter-city shipping costs relative to intra-city commuting costs is also consistent with these observed patterns.

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Suggested Citation

Cuberes, David and Desmet, Klaus and Rappaport, Jordan, Urban Growth Shadows (February 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3790214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3790214

David Cuberes (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT

HOME PAGE: http://merlin.fae.ua.es/cuberes/

Klaus Desmet

Southern Methodist University (SMU) ( email )

6212 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Jordan Rappaport

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City ( email )

1 Memorial Dr.
Kansas City, MO 64198
United States
816-881-2018 (Phone)
816-881-2199 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kansascityfed.org/speechbio/rappaport.cfm

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