Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities
35 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2000 Last revised: 20 Sep 2010
Date Written: February 1995
We examine the relationship between urban characteristics in 1960 and urban growth (income and population) between 1960 and 1990. Our major findings are that income and population growth move together and both types of growth are (1) positively related to initial schooling, (2) negatively related to initial unemployment and (3) negatively related to the share of employment initially in manufacturing. These results are qualitatively unchanged if we examine cities (a smaller political unit) or SMSAs (a larger 'economic' unit). We also find that racial composition and segregation are basically uncorrelated with urban growth across all cities, but that in communities with large nonwhite communities segregation is positively correlated with white population growth. Government expenditures (except for sanitation) are uncorrelated with urban growth. Government debt is positively correlated with later growth.
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