Growth and Convergence in Metropolitan America / Edition 1

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While the suburbs of most metropolitan areas are wealthier than their urban counterparts, rapid regional growth can improve the welfare of both city and suburb, according to a new book from Janet Rothenberg Pack. In Growth and Convergence in Metropolitan America, Pack identifies growth trends that have contributed to the convergence of welfare among regions.

Pack analyzes demographic, social, and economic data from 277 metropolitan areas in the northeastern, midwestern, southern, and western United States between 1960 and 1990. Her analysis reveals a strong connection between regional growth and improved socioeconomic vitality. She finds little connection between population growth —the focus of many previous studies —and well-being, but a strong connection between per capita income growth and well-being. Moreover, there has been a major change in the factors associated with economic growth between the 1970s and 1980s. In the latter decade, the importance of an educated labor force and major universities have assumed major importance. This appears likely to have continued to be true in the 1990s.

While current urban policy has focused on intra-metropolitan cooperation as the key to improving conditions in declining or slow-growing urban areas, Pack's analysis emphasizes the major differences among the larger regions of the country —both their cities and suburbs. From this perspective, national policies, both macro-economic policy and the progressive income tax, appear to be the most effective influences promoting regional convergence and improving the socio-economic well-being of both city and suburban residents.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It is not very often that an author produces a concise and straightforward text that simplifies the complex nature of urban resource economics- noteably this happens to be one of the those rare occasions.... Pack addressed a range of complex regional issues and presented the findings in a user-friendly text. The author's intricate knowledge of the historical events that occurred during the 1960-1990 era both supported and complemented the discussion, shedding light on numerous regional trends that otherwise may not be fully appreciated." —Richard G. Reed, University of Melbourne, Australia, Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, v. 8, no.1, 2002

"Pack argues that individual well-being depends mostly on how the region as a whole performs, and suggests there is relatively litttle that public policies can do about it.... The strongest part of Pack's book is her analysis of the sources of regional growth.... Pack does an outstanding job of integrating her work with the scholarly literature on regional growth dynamics. Pack's econometric analysis of regional growth produces a number of interesting findings." —Todd Swanstrom, Saint Louis University, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 6/1/2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815702474
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Series: Brookings Metro Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Rothenberg Pack is professor of business and public policy and real estate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Data Note
Ch. 1 Major Shifts in Population and Economic Activity 1
Ch. 2 Interregional Differences: Characteristics and Explanations 31
Ch. 3 Socioeconomic Characteristics and Growth 47
Ch. 4 Estimating Growth 85
Ch. 5 Behind the Growth Equations 121
Ch. 6 Regional Policy 152
App. A States by Census Region and Division 183
App. B The Intrametropolitan Linkage Literature: A Brief Summary 185
App. C Annexation and Urban Development 192
References 197
Index of Authors Cited 205
Index 209
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