Spatial Structure and Productivity in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

49 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2009

See all articles by E.J. (Evert) Meijers

E.J. (Evert) Meijers

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Martijn J. Burger

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: August 2009, 12

Abstract

Recent concepts as megaregions and polycentric urban regions emphasize that external economies are not confined to a single urban core, but shared among a collection of close-by and linked cities. However, empirical analyses of agglomeration and agglomeration externalities so-far neglects the multicentric spatial organization of agglomeration and the possibility of ‘sharing’ or ‘borrowing’ of size between cities. This paper takes up this empirical challenge by analyzing how different spatial structures, in particular the monocentricity – polycentricity dimension, affect the economic performance of U.S. metropolitan areas. OLS and 2SLS models explaining labor productivity show that spatial structure matters. Polycentricity is associated with higher labor productivity. This appears to justify suggestions that, compared to relatively monocentric metropolitan areas, agglomeration diseconomies remain relatively limited in the more polycentric metropolitan areas, while agglomeration externalities are indeed to some extent shared among the cities in such an area. However, it was also found that a network of geographically proximate smaller cities cannot provide a substitute for the urbanization externalities of a single large city.

Keywords: polycentricity, dispersion, labor productivity, urbanization externalities

JEL Classification: M13, O32, M, O12

Suggested Citation

Meijers, E.J. (Evert) and Burger, Martijn J., Spatial Structure and Productivity in U.S. Metropolitan Areas (August 2009, 12). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2009-057-ORG, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1521374

E.J. (Evert) Meijers

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment ( email )

Julianalaan 134
Delft, 2628 BL
Netherlands

Martijn J. Burger

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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