DP2376 Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life-Cycle of Products

Author(s): Gilles Duranton, Diego Puga
Publication Date: February 2000
Keyword(s): Cities, Diversity, Innovation, Learning, Life-Cycle, Specialization
JEL(s): D83, O31, R30
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2376

Why are some cities specialized and others diversified? What are the advantages and disadvantages of urban specialization and diversity? To what extent does the structure of cities, and the activities of firms and people in them, change over time? How does the sectoral composition of cities influence their evolution? To answer these and related questions, we first distil some key stylized facts from the empirical literature on cities and the composition of their activities. We then turn to a review of different theories looking at such issues and study the extent to which these theories contribute to the understanding of the empirical regularities.