Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

March 15, 2018

# 18.13 What drives the geography of jobs in the US? Unpacking relatedness

Teresa Farinha Fernandes & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Andrea Morrison & Ron Boschma


Abstract: There is ample evidence of regions diversifying in new occupations that are related to pre- existing activities in the region. However, it is still poorly understood through which mechanisms related diversification operates. To unpack relatedness, we distinguish between three mechanisms: complementarity (interdependent tasks), similarity (sharing similar skills) and local synergy (based on pure co-location). We propose a measure for each of these relatedness dimensions and assess their impact on the evolution of the occupational structure of 389 US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) for the period 2005-2016. Our findings show that new jobs appearing in MSA’s are related to existing ones, while those more likely to disappear are more unrelated to a city’s jobs’ portfolio. We found that all three relatedness dimensions matter, but local synergy shows the largest impact on entry and exit of jobs in US cities.


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