Economic convergence and urban growth: Structural changes in the Arizona urban system.
Committee ChairMulligan, Gordon F.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDespite their fluctuating characteristics, urban economies of the U.S. during the last three decades exhibited relative steadiness in terms of the changing direction of general urban structure. Such changing characteristics of the urban system are expressed as structural convergence because economies of urban places have become more and more alike. This study explores the structural changes and growth factors of the Arizona urban system, using various analytic methods with the U.S. census data for 1970, 1980, and 1990. The results from the factor analyses of Arizona towns indicate that while the Arizona urban system has grown fast through inmigration and urbanization processes since the 1960s, its basic structural properties have been quite stable. It is also found that specific factors affecting urban growth have changed over time, though the general structure of the urban system has been stable. The results from the analyses of urban industrial structure indicate that the economies of Arizona towns have become more diversified and the level of industrial specialization has become increasingly associated with the size of urban population and employment over time. From the analyses of nonemployment income sources, it is found that nonemployment income has become more important in the economic bases of towns over time, and the elderly population and metropolitan proximity are associated with the increase of nonemployment income of the communities. Further, it is revealed that nonemployment income significantly increases nonbasic income. Specifically, nonbasic income of larger town is more affected by investment income and that of smaller town is more affected by transfer income. Along with the industrial diversification trend, the fact that nonemployment income has become increasingly important in urban economies confirms that urban economies are becoming more and more alike.
Degree ProgramGeography and Regional Development