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Proposing new measures of employment deconcentration and spatial dispersion across metropolitan areas in the US


A well-known challenge is measuring employment concentration across metropolitan areas and analysing the evolving spatial structure. We introduce a new approach that avoids identifying “job centres” and conceptualizes the distribution of employment based on two dimensions: (1) employment deconcentration; and (2) spatial dispersion of high employment locations. We apply this framework to study 329 US metropolitan regions based on 1 sq km. grid cells. We find diverse trajectories of metropolitan restructuring between 2000 and 2010, and substantial variation across regions in employment concentration. The new framework enables researchers to compare metropolitan regions to gain insights into the dynamic nature of metropolitan spatial structure.

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