Defining and measuring urban regions – a sensitivity analysis

This paper evaluates the impact of alternative city boundary definitions on economic performance. First we discuss the theoretical background and motivate the empirical work. Then we present the methodological concept of the sensitivity analysis, which will be applied to a variety of data of Zürich and Bern (the financial and the administrative centres of Switzerland) in order to see how the values of different indicators vary depending on the definition adopted. Finally we will show whether the empirical patterns found are statistically significant. The analysis shows, that the delimitation of a city or city region indeed matters.