The Impact of the Spatial Population Distribution on Economic Growth

Constantin Bürgi*, Nisan Gorgulu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperResearch

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We look at the spatial angle of economic growth. Specically, we assess whether areas where people live closer together experience faster growth. Traditional measures like population density or urbanization are not optimal, as they are affected by large uninhabited areas or capped, respectively. We thus introduce
a new measure Spatial Population Concentration (SPC) that captures how many people live on average within a given radius of every person within a geographic area. This measure allows for a more accurate measurement of the population concentration than traditional measures, as it does not share some of their
short comings. Next, we show for U.S. counties that areas with a high spatial population concentration experience faster growth. We nd that counties with a low value of SPC measure in 1990 experienced substantially lower GDP growth over the next 25 years.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [wp]
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2021
SeriesWorking Paper / Department of Economics. Copenhagen Business School
SeriesCSEI Working Paper


  • Spatial population concentration
  • Endogeneous growth
  • Spillover
  • The United States

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