Matching Items (9)

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Urban Scaling and the Production Function for Cities

Description

The factors that account for the differences in the economic productivity of urban areas have remained difficult to measure and identify unambiguously. Here we show that a microscopic derivation of

The factors that account for the differences in the economic productivity of urban areas have remained difficult to measure and identify unambiguously. Here we show that a microscopic derivation of urban scaling relations for economic quantities vs. population, obtained from the consideration of social and infrastructural properties common to all cities, implies an effective model of economic output in the form of a Cobb-Douglas type production function. As a result we derive a new expression for the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) of urban areas, which is the standard measure of economic productivity per unit of aggregate production factors (labor and capital). Using these results we empirically demonstrate that there is a systematic dependence of urban productivity on city population size, resulting from the mismatch between the size dependence of wages and labor, so that in contemporary US cities productivity increases by about 11% with each doubling of their population. Moreover, deviations from the average scale dependence of economic output, capturing the effect of local factors, including history and other local contingencies, also manifest surprising regularities. Although, productivity is maximized by the combination of high wages and low labor input, high productivity cities show invariably high wages and high levels of employment relative to their size expectation. Conversely, low productivity cities show both low wages and employment. These results shed new light on the microscopic processes that underlie urban economic productivity, explain the emergence of effective aggregate urban economic output models in terms of labor and capital inputs and may inform the development of economic theory related to growth.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-03-27

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Urban Economies and Occupation Space: Can They Get “There” from “Here”?

Description

Much of the socioeconomic life in the United States occurs in its urban areas. While an urban economy is defined to a large extent by its network of occupational specializations,

Much of the socioeconomic life in the United States occurs in its urban areas. While an urban economy is defined to a large extent by its network of occupational specializations, an examination of this important network is absent from the considerable body of work on the determinants of urban economic performance. Here we develop a structure-based analysis addressing how the network of interdependencies among occupational specializations affects the ease with which urban economies can transform themselves. While most occupational specializations exhibit positive relationships between one another, many exhibit negative ones, and the balance between the two partially explains the productivity of an urban economy. The current set of occupational specializations of an urban economy and its location in the occupation space constrain its future development paths. Important tradeoffs exist between different alternatives for altering an occupational specialization pattern, both at a single occupation and an entire occupational portfolio levels.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-09-09

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Population-Area Relationship for Medieval European Cities

Description

Medieval European urbanization presents a line of continuity between earlier cities and modern European urban systems. Yet, many of the spatial, political and economic features of medieval European cities were

Medieval European urbanization presents a line of continuity between earlier cities and modern European urban systems. Yet, many of the spatial, political and economic features of medieval European cities were particular to the Middle Ages, and subsequently changed over the Early Modern Period and Industrial Revolution. There is a long tradition of demographic studies estimating the population sizes of medieval European cities, and comparative analyses of these data have shed much light on the long-term evolution of urban systems. However, the next step—to systematically relate the population size of these cities to their spatial and socioeconomic characteristics—has seldom been taken. This raises a series of interesting questions, as both modern and ancient cities have been observed to obey area-population relationships predicted by settlement scaling theory. To address these questions, we analyze a new dataset for the settled area and population of 173 European cities from the early fourteenth century to determine the relationship between population and settled area. To interpret this data, we develop two related models that lead to differing predictions regarding the quantitative form of the population-area relationship, depending on the level of social mixing present in these cities. Our empirical estimates of model parameters show a strong densification of cities with city population size, consistent with patterns in contemporary cities. Although social life in medieval Europe was orchestrated by hierarchical institutions (e.g., guilds, church, municipal organizations), our results show no statistically significant influence of these institutions on agglomeration effects. The similarities between the empirical patterns of settlement relating area to population observed here support the hypothesis that cities throughout history share common principles of organization that self-consistently relate their socioeconomic networks to structured urban spaces.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-10-05

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Night-Time Light Data: A Good Proxy Measure for Economic Activity?

Description

Much research has suggested that night-time light (NTL) can be used as a proxy for a number of variables, including urbanization, density, and economic growth. As governments around the world

Much research has suggested that night-time light (NTL) can be used as a proxy for a number of variables, including urbanization, density, and economic growth. As governments around the world either collect census data infrequently or are scaling back the amount of detail collected, alternate sources of population and economic information like NTL are being considered. But, just how close is the statistical relationship between NTL and economic activity at a fine-grained geographical level? This paper uses a combination of correlation analysis and geographically weighted regressions in order to examine if light can function as a proxy for economic activities at a finer level. We use a fine-grained geo-coded residential and industrial full sample micro-data set for Sweden, and match it with both radiance and saturated light emissions. We find that the correlation between NTL and economic activity is strong enough to make it a relatively good proxy for population and establishment density, but the correlation is weaker in relation to wages. In general, we find a stronger relation between light and density values, than with light and total values. We also find a closer connection between radiance light and economic activity, than with saturated light. Further, we find the link between light and economic activity, especially estimated by wages, to be slightly overestimated in large urban areas and underestimated in rural areas.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-10-23

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Does Size Matter? Scaling of CO2 Emissions and U.S. Urban Areas

Description

Urban areas consume more than 66% of the world’s energy and generate more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the world’s population expected to reach 10 billion by

Urban areas consume more than 66% of the world’s energy and generate more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the world’s population expected to reach 10 billion by 2100, nearly 90% of whom will live in urban areas, a critical question for planetary sustainability is how the size of cities affects energy use and carbon dioxide (CO[subscript 2]) emissions. Are larger cities more energy and emissions efficient than smaller ones? Do larger cities exhibit gains from economies of scale with regard to emissions? Here we examine the relationship between city size and CO[subscript 2] emissions for U.S. metropolitan areas using a production accounting allocation of emissions. We find that for the time period of 1999–2008, CO[subscript 2] emissions scale proportionally with urban population size. Contrary to theoretical expectations, larger cities are not more emissions efficient than smaller ones.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-06-04

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Crossing a zone of mutual oblivion: sustainability and childrearing in the Anthropocene

Description

Raising future generations is a culturally diverse, universally technological human project. This research brought the everyday work of raising children into the domain of sustainability scholarship, by first proposing a

Raising future generations is a culturally diverse, universally technological human project. This research brought the everyday work of raising children into the domain of sustainability scholarship, by first proposing a model of childrearing as a globally distributed socio-technical system, and then exploring the model with participants in two nodes – an elementary and middle school, and a children’s museum. In the process, the research objective shifted towards using methods that were less academic and more relevant to childrearing agents. The focus on participatory survey data was abandoned, in favor of autoethnographic documentation of a long-term engagement with a third node of the system, a child welfare setting. This approach yielded unexpected findings that fit the proposed model, identified characteristics of a Zone of Mutual Oblivion (ZMO) that exists between childrearing and sustainability, and clarified ways in which people prioritize their own needs and responsibilities, the developmental needs of children, the potential needs and capacities of future generations, and the functional integrity of ecological systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Applying distributional approaches to understand patterns of urban differentiation

Description

Urban scaling analysis has introduced a new scientific paradigm to the study of cities. With it, the notions of size, heterogeneity and structure have taken a leading role. These notions

Urban scaling analysis has introduced a new scientific paradigm to the study of cities. With it, the notions of size, heterogeneity and structure have taken a leading role. These notions are assumed to be behind the causes for why cities differ from one another, sometimes wildly. However, the mechanisms by which size, heterogeneity and structure shape the general statistical patterns that describe urban economic output are still unclear. Given the rapid rate of urbanization around the globe, we need precise and formal mathematical understandings of these matters. In this context, I perform in this dissertation probabilistic, distributional and computational explorations of (i) how the broadness, or narrowness, of the distribution of individual productivities within cities determines what and how we measure urban systemic output, (ii) how urban scaling may be expressed as a statistical statement when urban metrics display strong stochasticity, (iii) how the processes of aggregation constrain the variability of total urban output, and (iv) how the structure of urban skills diversification within cities induces a multiplicative process in the production of urban output.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Food, a global product: an enhanced FEW nexus approach

Description

Sustainable food systems have been studied extensively in recent times and the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus framework has been one of the most common frameworks used. The dissertation intends to examine

Sustainable food systems have been studied extensively in recent times and the Food-Energy-Water (FEW) nexus framework has been one of the most common frameworks used. The dissertation intends to examine and quantitatively model the food system interaction with the energy system and the water system. Traditional FEW nexus studies have focused on food production alone. While this approach is informative, it is insufficient since food is extensively traded. Various food miles studies have highlighted the extensive virtual energy and virtual water footprint of food. This highlights the need for transport, and storage needs to be considered as part of the FEW framework. The Life cycle assessment (LCA) framework is the best available option to estimate the net energy and water exchange between the food, energy, and water systems. Climate plays an important role in food production as well as food preservation. Crops are very sensitive to temperature changes and it directly impacts a crop’s productivity. Changing temperatures directly impact crop productivity, and water demand. It is important to explore the feasibility of mitigation measures to keep in check increasing agricultural water demands. Conservation technologies may be able to provide the necessary energy and water savings. Even under varying climates it might be possible to meet demand for food through trade. The complex trade network might have the capacity to compensate for the produce lost due to climate change, and hence needs to be established. Re-visualizing the FEW nexus from the consumption perspective would better inform policy on exchange of constrained resources as well as carbon footprints. This puts the FEW nexus research space a step towards recreating the FEW nexus as a network of networks, that is, FEW-e (FEW exchange) nexus.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Intermetropolitan networks of co-invention in American biotechnology

Description

Regional differences of inventive activity and economic growth are important in economic geography. These differences are generally explained by the theory of localized knowledge spillovers, which argues that geographical proximity

Regional differences of inventive activity and economic growth are important in economic geography. These differences are generally explained by the theory of localized knowledge spillovers, which argues that geographical proximity among economic actors fosters invention and innovation. However, knowledge production involves an increasing number of actors connecting to non-local partners. The space of knowledge flows is not tightly bounded in a given territory, but functions as a network-based system where knowledge flows circulate around alignments of actors in different and distant places. The purpose of this dissertation is to understand the dynamics of network aspects of knowledge flows in American biotechnology. The first research task assesses both spatial and network-based dependencies of biotechnology co-invention across 150 large U.S. metropolitan areas over four decades (1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009). An integrated methodology including both spatial and social network analyses are explicitly applied and compared. Results show that the network-based proximity better defines the U.S. biotechnology co-invention urban system in recent years. Co-patenting relationships of major biotechnology centers has demonstrated national and regional association since the 1990s. Associations retain features of spatial proximity especially in some Midwestern and Northeastern cities, but these are no longer the strongest features affecting co-inventive links. The second research task examines how biotechnology knowledge flows circulate over space by focusing on the structural properties of intermetropolitan co-invention networks. All analyses in this task are conducted using social network analysis. Evidence shows that the architecture of the U.S. co-invention networks reveals a trend toward more organized structures and less fragmentation over the four years of analysis. Metropolitan areas are increasingly interconnected into a large web of networked environment. Knowledge flows are less likely to be controlled by a small number of intermediaries. San Francisco, New York, Boston, and San Diego monopolize the central positions of the intermetropolitan co-invention network as major American biotechnology concentrations. The overall network-based system comes close to a relational core/periphery structure where core metropolitan areas are strongly connected to one another and to some peripheral areas. Peripheral metropolitan areas are loosely connected or even disconnected with each other. This dissertation provides empirical evidence to support the argument that technological collaboration reveals a network-based system associated with different or even distant geographical places, which is somewhat different from the conventional theory of localized knowledge spillovers that once dominated understanding of the role of geography in technological advance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011