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Change in the Concentration of Employment in Computer Services: Spatial Estimation at the U.S. Metro County Level

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ABSTRACT 

This article models the concentration of computer services activity across the U.S. with factors that incorporate spatial relationships. Specifically, we enhance the standard home-area study with an analysis that allows conditions in neighboring counties to affect the concentration of employment in the home county. We use county-level data for metropolitan areas between 1990 and 1997. To measure change in employment concentration, we use the change in location quotients for SIC 737, which captures employment concentration changes caused by both the number of firms and the scale of their activity relative to the national average. After controlling for local demand for computer services, our results support the importance of the presence of a qualified labor supply, interindustry linkages, proximity to a major airport, and spatial processes in explaining changes in computer services employment concentration, finding little support for the influence of cost factors. Our enhanced model reveals interjurisdictional relationships among these metro counties that could not be captured with standard estimates by state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), or county. Using counties within MSAs, therefore, provides more general results than case studies but still allows measurement of local interactions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Michigan., Email: [email protected] 2: Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University., Email: [email protected] 3: Economics Department at Georgia State University., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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