Employment Concentration Across Us Counties

43 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2004

See all articles by Klaus Desmet

Klaus Desmet

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

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Date Written: October 2004

Abstract

This Paper examines the spatial distribution of jobs across US counties and investigates whether sectoral employment is becoming more or less concentrated. The existing literature has found deconcentration (convergence) of employment across urban areas. Cities only cover a small part of the US though. Using county data, our results indicate that deconcentration is limited to the upper tail of the distribution. The overall picture is one of increasing concentration (divergence). While this seemingly contradicts the well-documented deconcentration in manufacturing, we show that these aggregate employment dynamics are driven by services. Non-service sectors - such as manufacturing and farming - are indeed becoming more equally spread across space, but services are becoming increasingly concentrated.

Keywords: Spatial distribution of employment, ergodic distribution, US counties, economic geography

JEL Classification: R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Desmet, Klaus and Fafchamps, Marcel, Employment Concentration Across Us Counties (October 2004). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 4689. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=639163

Klaus Desmet (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) ( email )

6212 Bishop Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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