The Puzzling Persistence Of Place

May 24th, 2015
in econ_news

from the Philadelphia Fed

It's common for neighborhoods, cities, and regions to experience changes in fortune over time. Yet, many places exhibit intriguing persistence in their relative economic development. From ancient Japan to Roman and medieval Europe to the pre-Columbian Americas, age-old development patterns are strongly correlated with present-day geographic distributions of population and income.

Follow up:

Such extreme spatial persistence may be relevant for urban policy today. Why haven't these urban patterns changed over decades, centuries, or even millennia? Is such persistence desirable? And what does persistence imply about the prospects for "place-making" policies aimed at generating development in or attracting it to particular locations? Remarkable long-run persistence in the relative sizes and incomes of regions appears to be common. For example, in Latin America, the distribution of population before European exploration and conquest began in 1492 is strongly correlated with present-day distributions of population and income.

Similarly, the spatial distribution of economic activity in Europe today is strongly correlated with the location of trading routes and commercial centers in the 14th and 15th centuries.2 As I will discuss, other studies have found similar persistence over centuries or even millennia in the U.S., Britain, Japan, and Africa.

[click on image below to continue reading]


Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved