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Abstract

In the standard urban model, employment is concentrated in the Central Business District (CBD) and the locational choice of households is modeled solely on access to the employment center. Now, technology has facilitated the emergence of new office environments where work is done at unconventional locations that were earlier in the CBD. While the urban density function is not really new, in this study, we look at the effect of telecommuting, made possible by technology, on suburbanization, using data for U.S. metropolitan areas. We use population and household gradients as measures of suburbanization. For telecommuting indicators, we use data from Survey of Income Program and Participation (SIPP). We find support for the natural evolution theory of suburbanization. We find that telecommuting contributes to centralization of cities. We conclude that technology could be a complement, not a substitute for face-to-face interaction.

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