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Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930

Nicholas Crafts () and Alexander Klein

No 10673, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We investigate the role of industrial structure in productivity growth in U.S. cities between 1880 and 1930 using a new dataset constructed from the Census of Manufactures. We find that increases in specialization were associated with faster productivity growth but that diversity only had positive effects on productivity performance in large cities. We interpret our results as providing strong support for the importance of Marshallian externalities. Industrial specialization increased considerably in U.S. cities in the early 20th century, probably as a result of improved transportation, and we estimate that this resulted in significant gains in labor productivity

Keywords: agglomeration economies; industrial structure; Jacobian externalities; manufacturing productivity; Marshallian externalities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N91 N92 R32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-geo, nep-gro, nep-his and nep-ure
Date: 2015-06
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Working Paper: Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930 (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930 (2015) Downloads
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