The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 787–805 | Cite as

Production and work in the American metropolis: a macroscopic approach

Original Paper

Abstract

In this paper, I pursue the idea that large and small metropolitan areas are subject to distinctively different technological, organizational, and employment dynamics. This idea is considered both in general terms, and, more specifically, in the light of the emerging cognitive-cultural economy in the United States Two main bodies of empirical evidence are invoked in a series of hypothesis-testing exercises. One of these is focused on 6-digit manufacturing sectors in metropolitan areas; here, the objective is to reveal by means of regression analysis the basic dimensions of locational sorting across the metropolitan hierarchy. The other revolves around detailed census occupational groupings and the different ways in which their functional relations to data, people, and things are reflected in their spatial dynamics. The evidence presented suggests that the competitive advantages of large metropolitan areas reside above all in forms of economic activity marked by high levels of operational instability and product differentiation as expressed, among other things, in labor-intensive technologies and discretionary labor processes. The competitive advantages of small metropolitan areas flow from a converse set of characteristics. It is also shown that the new cognitive-cultural economy of the United States is being ushered in via metropolitan areas at the top of the urban hierarchy.

JEL Classification

J24 R11 R12 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Acemoglu D (2002). Technical change, inequality and the labor market. J Econ Lit 40: 7–72 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acs ZJ and Varga A (2005). Entrepreneurship, agglomeration and technological change. Small Bus Econ 24: 323–334 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Autor DH, Katz LF and Kearney MS (2006). The polarization of the US labor market. Am Econ Rev 96: 189–194 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Autor DH, Levy F and Murnane RJ (2003). The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration. Q J Econ 118: 1279–1333 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berry CR and Glaeser EL (2005). The divergence of human capital levels across cities. Pap Reg Sci 84: 407–444 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blackley PR and Greytak D (1986). Comparative advantage and industrial location: an intrametropolitan evaluation. Urban Stud 23: 221–230 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borjas GJ (2003). The labor demand curve is downward sloping: reexamining the impact of immigration on the labor market. Q J Econ 118: 1335–1374 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Breau S (2007). Income inequality across Canadian provinces in an era of globalization: explaining recent trends. Can Geogr 51: 72–90 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crang P (1994). Its showtime: on the workplace geographies of display in a restaurant in Southeast England. Environ Plan D Soc Space 12: 675–704 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duncan OD, Scott WR, Lieberson S, Duncan B and Winsborough HH (1960). Metropolis and region. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore Google Scholar
  11. Florence PS (1955). Economic efficiency in the metropolis. In: Fisher, RM (eds) The metropolis in modern life, pp 85–124. Doubleday, Garden City Google Scholar
  12. Hall P (1998). Cities in civilization. Pantheon, New York Google Scholar
  13. Hughes J (2005). Bringing emotion to work: emotional intelligence, employee resistance and the reinvention of character. Work Employ Soc 19: 603–625 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kim S (1995). Expansion of markets and the geographic distribution of economic activities: the trends in US manufacturing structure, 1860–1987. Q J Econ 110: 881–908 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krätke S (2007). Metropolisation of the European economic territory as a consequence of increasing specialisation of urban agglomerations in the knowledge economy. Eur Plan Stud 15: 1–27 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levy F and Murnane RJ (2004). The new division of labor: how computers are creating the next job market. Russell Sage Foundation, New York Google Scholar
  17. McDowell L, Batnitzky A and Dyer S (2007). Division, segmentation, and interpellation: the embodied labors of migrant workers in a greater London hotel. Econ Geogr 83: 1–25 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Scott AJ (1982). Locational patterns and dynamics of industrial activity in the modern metropolis: a review essay. Urban Stud 19: 11–142 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Scott AJ (2005). On Hollywood: the place, the industry. Princeton University Press, Princeton Google Scholar
  20. Scott AJ (2007). Capitalism and urbanization in a new key? The cognitive-cultural dimension. Soc Forces 85: 1465–1482 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Skinner C (2004). The changing occupational structure of large metropolitan areas: implications for the high school educated. J Urban Aff 26: 67–88 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Storper M and Scott AJ (1989). The geographic foundations and social regulation of flexible production complexes. In: Wolch, J and Dear, M (eds) The power of geography: how territory shapes social life, pp 21–40. Unwin Hyman, Boston Google Scholar
  23. Ward K (2005). Making Manchester flexible: competition and change in the temporary staffing industry. Geoforum 36: 223–240 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yun MS (2006). Earnings inequality in USA, 1969–99: comparing inequality using earnings equations. Rev Income Wealth 1: 127–144 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Department of Policy StudiesUniversity of California-Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations