Urban Industrial Composition and the Spatial Expansion of Cities

Perry Burnett


This paper uses a computable general equilibrium model with integrated commercial and residential land data to estimate the impact of urban growth, both in sector origin and growth mechanism, on urban spatial expansion, measured by density (population, employment, and commercial), residential lot size, and urban land conversion. The results demonstrate that specific sectors and individual growth mechanisms have unique impacts across the spatial expansion measures in both sign and magnitude; therefore, local policy makers should carefully consider the uniqueness of their city in terms of their geographic surroundings and mixture of urban growth before implementing or emulating other cities’ policies. (JEL R11, R14)

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