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The Relationship between City Center Density and Urban Growth or Decline


In this paper we contrast the spatial patterns of population density and other demographic changes in growing versus shrinking MSAs from 1980 to 2010. We find that, on average, shrinking MSAs show the steepest drop in population density near the Central Business District (CBD). Motivated by this fact, we explore the connection between changes in population density at the core of the MSA and MSA productivity. We find that changes in near-CBD population density are positively associated with per capita income growth at the MSA-level.

JEL Codes: R11, R12.
Keywords: Urban Growth, Agglomeration, Spatial Distribution

Suggested citation: Fee, Kyle and Daniel Hartley, 2012. "The Relationship between City Center Density and Urban Growth or Decline," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper no. 12-13.

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