First Advisor

James G. Strathman

Term of Graduation

Winter 1994

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Suburbs -- United States, Suburbs -- Economic aspects -- United States, Urban economics



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, xii, 246 pages)


Post-war metropolitan development in the United States has been mainly due to suburban growth which resulted in dispersal of population, retailing, manufacturing, wholesaling and services. What is known about service suburbanization is primarily derived from survey research on location choices done in localized cases. There has been no comprehensive work done using secondary data on revealed behavior.

This dissertation attempts that comprehensive study. The research analyzes the dynamics of locational structure of services in U.S. metropolitan areas from 1969 to 1989. The descriptive analysis of changes in the location coefficients provides evidence to demonstrate a spatial shifting of consumer oriented services roughly opposite to that of business oriented services. The top ranked business centers tend to exhibit a tendency toward greater centralization. There is a countervailing tendency toward decentralization of business oriented services in small and relatively underdeveloped service areas.

According to the regional analysis, there is no clear tendency of business oriented services for the 1969-79 and 1979-89 periods. The tendency for decentralized services, however, appears to be strong for the 1969-89 period, especially for the Manufacturingbelt and South. Models for decentralization of consumer oriented and business oriented services indicate that the spatial dynamics of business services are different from those of consumer services. Relocation costs appear to be greater for business services than for consumer services. By contrast, service demand and racial composition seem to have a greater influence on decentralization of consumer services than on business services.

The relocation costs are also likely to encourage more centralization of consumer and business services over a longer time span. The locational effects of corporate demand and decentralization of manufacturing activity, on the contrary, appear to weaken over a longer time span.


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Persistent Identifier

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Urban Studies Commons