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Linking Regional Science and Urban Economics: Long-Run Interactions among Preferences for Amenities and Public Goods

DOI: 10.4236/me.2012.33035, PP. 253-262

Keywords: Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity, Suburbanization, Regional Growth and Decline, Amenities, Local Public Goods

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The linked nature of long-term patterns of urban deconcentration and regional change (from rustbelt to sunbelt in the U.S., but with similar phenomena increasingly world-wide) is analyzed in a framework that emphasizes heterogeneous human preferences. The focus is on the important interactions that exist between local and regional amenities, whether exogenous or endogenous. The central thesis is that persistent exogenous amenity variation among regions provides an underlying pattern of regional growth and decline. However, inappropriate provision of local public goods in central cities is seen to lead both to non-optimally large levels of suburbanization and to rates of regional change that are also non-optimally large.


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