Are America's Inner Cities Competitive? Evidence from the 2000s

41 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2015

See all articles by Daniel A. Hartley

Daniel A. Hartley

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Nikhil Kaza

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

T. Lester

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Date Written: March 23, 2015

Abstract

In the years since Michael Porter’s paper about the potential competitiveness of inner cities there has been growing evidence of a residential resurgence in urban neighborhoods. Yet, there is less evidence on the competitiveness of inner cities for employment. We document the trends in net employment growth and find that inner cities gained over 1.8 million jobs between 2002 and 2011 at a rate comparable to suburban areas. We also find a significant number of inner cities are competitive over this period — increasing their share of metropolitan employment in 120 out of 281 MSAs. We also describe the pattern of job growth within the inner city, finding that tracts that grew faster tended to be closer to downtown, with access to transit, and adjacent to areas with higher population growth. However, tracts with higher poverty rates experienced less job growth, indicating that barriers still exist in the inner city.

Keywords: Urban Labor Markets, City and Suburban Employment

JEL Classification: R12 , O18

Suggested Citation

Hartley, Daniel A. and Kaza, Nikhil and Lester, T., Are America's Inner Cities Competitive? Evidence from the 2000s (March 23, 2015). FRB of Cleveland Working Paper No. 15-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2584493 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2584493

Daniel A. Hartley (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danielaaronhartley.com

Nikhil Kaza

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

T. Lester

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

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