Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prompts from near and far

Most U.S. data for urban areas locks us into "central city" vs. "suburbs" categories. Not great, but that's the way it is. Do these places perform as complements or substitutes? The central city "exploitation" by their suburbs was a staple of some of the early literature, but Richard Voith showed us in 1992 that complementarity dominated -- for 28 MSAs of the Northeast and North-central census regions. Though there were negative growth correlations for populations in the 1960s, they were positive for the 1970s and 1980s.

Robin Leichenko published an analysis for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and also found a complex pattern but leaned to complementarity.

I had previously mentioned that Wendell Cox pointed me to population data that go back to the 1950s. A sample of twenty-four areas across the U.S. is available if we want populations for the urbanized areas, their core cities and the remaining suburbs.

What were the inter-decadel population growth correlations?

The positives have it, but the associations get weaker over time. Growth prompts now come from far and wide.