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Agglomeration Economics$
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Edward L. Glaeser

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226297897

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226297927.001.0001

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Urbanization, Agglomeration, and Coagglomeration of Service Industries

Urbanization, Agglomeration, and Coagglomeration of Service Industries

(p.151) 5 Urbanization, Agglomeration, and Coagglomeration of Service Industries
Agglomeration Economics
Jed Kolko
University of Chicago Press

The economic future of cities depends on services, and understanding why services are in cities is essential to understanding the function of cities in modern economies. Service industries that rely more on information technology are even less likely to colocate at the state level, which suggests that the Internet substitutes for phone, mail, and travel in service industries, though not for in-person interactions. The purpose of the analysis is twofold: first, to see what, if anything, explains agglomeration and urbanization in service industries; and second, to see if similar forces explain agglomeration in both manufacturing and services. This chapter discusses whether industries that trade with each other also agglomerate together and whether trading affects coagglomeration differently for services than for manufacturing. These findings on urbanization, agglomeration, and coagglomeration reveal why services are more urbanized yet less agglomerated than manufacturing. The chapter argues that the differential effect of information technology on manufacturing and services is because electronic communication dramatically lowers the cost of transporting intangibles, especially over longer distances, but not the cost of transporting tangible goods.

Keywords:   services industries, agglomeration, urbanization, trading affects, information technology

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