The purpose of this study is to test if the presence of robust transportation infrastructure has an impact on the formation of employment subcenters in the Chicago Metropolitan area. This paper derives a theoretical model using bid­rent theory that develops a polycentric urban framework. The empirical model uses net employment density to operationalize bid­rent theory. Two empirical models are developed and tested: The first employs a two­stage regression process to control for self­selection bias, and the other uses standard linear regression.

The results generated by the two­stage model demonstrate that self­selection bias is not present in the model, so the standard linear regression model was developed and results interpreted. Both models produced significant results, which found that the presence of transportation infrastructure has positive effects on net employment density, supporting the author’s hypothesis. Evidence also indicates that the CBD, O’Hare, and other previously identified subcenters have an attracting effect, as employment density tends to be concentrated in those areas.


Burnell, James D.


Business Economics


Bid-Rent Theory, Urban Economics, Polycentric Urban Model

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Daniel P. Quinn