NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Comparative Advantage of Cities

Donald R. Davis, Jonathan I. Dingel

NBER Working Paper No. 20602
Issued in October 2014
NBER Program(s):   ITI   LS

What determines the distributions of skills, occupations, and industries across cities? We develop a theory to jointly address these fundamental questions about the spatial organization of economies. Our model incorporates a system of cities, their internal urban structures, and a high-dimensional theory of factor-driven comparative advantage. It predicts that larger cities will be skill-abundant and specialize in skill-intensive activities according to the monotone likelihood ratio property. We test the model using data on 270 US metropolitan areas, 3 to 9 educational categories, 22 occupations, and 21 manufacturing industries. The results provide support for our theory's predictions.

download in pdf format
   (632 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20602

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Baum-Snow and Ferreira w20535 Causal Inference in Urban and Regional Economics
Davis and Dingel w18188 A Spatial Knowledge Economy
Eggertsson and Mehrotra w20574 A Model of Secular Stagnation
Garicano and Rossi-Hansberg w20607 Knowledge-based Hierarchies: Using Organizations to Understand the Economy
Grossman and Helpman w20502 Growth, Trade, and Inequality
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us