NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Historical Perspectives on U.S. Economic Geography

Sukkoo Kim, Robert A. Margo

NBER Working Paper No. 9594
Issued in March 2003
NBER Program(s):   DAE   LS

We review historical patterns of economic geography' for the United States from the colonial period to the present day. The analysis is framed in terms of two geographic scales: regions and cities. The compelling reason for studying geographic areas of different scales is that models that explain the location of economic activities at one scale many not apply to other scales. We consider the process of settling the frontier'; the development of national markets in goods and factors and, more generally, the convergence (and divergence) of regional economies; the growth of cities and the relationship between urbanization and trends in aggregate economic structure, such as industrialization; and changes in the internal spatial structure of cities.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9594

Published: Kim, Sukkoo & Margo, Robert A., 2004. "Historical perspectives on U.S. economic geography," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 66, pages 2981-3019 Elsevier.

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