Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Regional Research Institute

Document Number

Working Paper 2017-03


The empirical relationship between economic diversity and economic stability varies when it is measured at dfferent geographical scales. This paper evaluates the role of geographical scales in assessing this diversity-stability relationship among counties, states, Economic Areas (EAs), metropolitan counties and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the contiguous U.S. When choosing geographical units to analyze regional economic structure, it is necessary that the geographical units be large enough in population and employment to quantify effectively the regional economic structure. In addition, this paper proposes that geographical units also should be functionally aggregated regions as they better represent spatial interactions than formal regions do, and they consider the possible temporal variations in the boundaries of regional economic structures.


For the published version of this paper, see:

Chen, J. (2019). Geographical scale, industrial diversity, and regional economic stability. Growth and Change, 50(2), 609–633.