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Three Essays in U.S. Urban-Regional Differences

Andrew D Sorsen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation is a collection of articles in which I examine regional differences in the United States and how they relate to differences in regional economic outcomes. In the first article, I describe the composition and spread of the distribution of employment over industries in U.S. states. I find that increased spread does not provide insurance against negative macroeconomic shocks to employment, but the concentration of certain service industries in a state is associated with the state’s unemployment rate. In the second article, I use a novel data set to characterize the entire local government budget of the central city of over 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States, and I show that localities with larger governments tend to experience slower economic growth. Compositionally, I find evidence that increased reliance on property taxation in order to generate revenue is associated with lower income growth. In addition, city capital investment is associated with higher growth, and state tax revenue transferred to local governments for investment purposes can be positively associated with growth. In the third article, I propose using the Koeppen-Geiger climate classification system to define the natural amenities of an MSA in the United States. I proceed to show that the intertemporal dynamics of metropolitan wage and rent premiums differ by climate zone, which suggests that the implicit price one pays to enjoy more temperate conditions has changed over the most recent business cycle.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Sorsen, Andrew D, "Three Essays in U.S. Urban-Regional Differences" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27955763.