We present a theory of spatial development. Manufacturing and services …rms located in a continuous geographic area choose each period how much to innovate. Firms trade subject to transport costs and technology di¤uses spatially across locations. The result is a spatial endogenous growth theory that can shed light on the link between the evolution of economic activity over time and space. We apply the model to study the evolution of the U.S. economy in the last few decades and …nd that the model can generate the reduction in the employment share in manufacturing, the increase in service productivity starting in the second part of the 1990s, the increase in the value and dispersion of land rents in the same period, as well as several other spatial and temporal patterns. 1
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