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The Effects of Regional and Neighborhood Conditions on Location Choice of New Business Establishments
Chin, Jae Teuk

2013, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, City and Regional Planning.

City governments and local municipalities have created and implemented a variety of strategies and incentives to stimulate start-up activity within their own jurisdictions. A policy of enhancing business climate is productive in some regions, while the same policy does not work for others. To understand these variations in outcomes, this research focuses on examining the relationship between the uniqueness of certain regions, spatially bounded characteristics, and how both affect where new establishments locate. Considering both regional and neighborhood determinants of new establishments using a single framework is necessary to contrast macro-scale with micro-scale effects. Moreover, it is useful to assess the effectiveness of business environment polices on start-ups because most strategies concentrate on one spatial level while ignoring the other level.


The combination of a quantitative approach of multilevel modeling and a qualitative approach of in-depth interviewing examines how the conditions of regions and neighborhoods affect where new establishments locate. Additionally, using mixed methods allows for an examination of both place-based and people-based factors. A two-level model employs the census tract as a spatial unit of analysis and analyzes new establishments within 27 medium-sized MSAs in the U.S. That quantitative model allows this study to find key regional and neighborhood factors driving location decisions of new establishments. In addition, interviews with selected founders help this research explore the meaning of the outcomes of the quantitative model, understand the individual stories behind start-up businesses, and discover any placed-based variables that are not included in the model.


Existing employment and population density are two primary neighborhood level determinants influencing new establishments. Unexpectedly, neighborhood-level demographic factors influence the locations of new establishments. Higher proportions of non-minority populations and a higher median age both are also associated with more new establishments being in a neighborhood. Conversely, higher rates of vacant housing units are associated with fewer new establishments in a neighborhood, on average. The major regional determinant is the average January temperature, which is consistent with other research of regional growth, while the impacts of agglomeration economies are less dominant than previous empirical findings. This indicates that the extent of agglomeration economies, generally increase with scale, is likely affected by medium-sized MSA criteria. The results of in-depth interviews confirm the importance of economic, demographic, and geographic conditions in the model, but reveal the existence of unmeasured factors that influence location choice behaviors including the personal preference of founders regarding the quality of neighborhood.

Jennifer Evans-Cowley (Committee Chair)
Rachel Kleit (Committee Member)
Edward Malecki (Committee Member)

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Chin, J. (2013). The Effects of Regional and Neighborhood Conditions on Location Choice of New Business Establishments. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Chin, Jae Teuk. "The Effects of Regional and Neighborhood Conditions on Location Choice of New Business Establishments." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2013. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 15 Dec 2017.

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Chin, Jae Teuk "The Effects of Regional and Neighborhood Conditions on Location Choice of New Business Establishments." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2013. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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