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The economic performance of cities: A Markov-switching approach

Michael Owyang (), Jeremy Piger (), Howard Wall () and Christopher Wheeler ()

Journal of Urban Economics, 2008, vol. 64, issue 3, 538-550

Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of employment growth in metro areas. To obtain growth rates, we use a Markov-switching model that separates a city's growth path into two distinct phases (high and low), each with its own growth rate. The simple average growth rate over some period is, therefore, the weighted average of the high-phase and low-phase growth rates, with the weight being the frequency of the two phases. We estimate the effects of a variety of factors separately for the high-phase and low-phase growth rates. Growth in the high phase is related to both human capital and industry mix, while growth in the low phase is related to industry mix only, specifically, the relative importance of manufacturing. Overall, our results strongly reject the notion that city-level characteristics influence employment growth equally across the phases of the business cycle.

Keywords: Growth; in; cities; Business; cycle; phases (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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