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The evolution of an industrial cluster in China

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Author Info

  • Fleisher, Belton
  • Hu, Dinghuan
  • McGuire, William
  • Zhang, Xiaobo

Abstract

We use two rounds of surveys, taken in 2000 and 2008 in the Zhili Township children's garment cluster in Zhejiang Province, to examine in depth the evolution of this industrial cluster. Firm size has grown on average in terms of output and employment, and increasing divergence in firm sizes has been associated with a significant rise in specialization and outsourcing among firms in the cluster. Although the investment amount needed to start a business has more than tripled, this amount remains low enough that formal bank loans remain an insignificant source of finance. Because of low entry barriers, the number of firms in the cluster has risen, driving down profits and bidding up wages, particularly since the year 2000. Facing severe competition, more firms have begun to upgrade their product quality. By the year 2007, nearly half of the sampled firms had established registered trademarks and nearly 20 percent had become International Office of Standardization (ISO) certified.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 456-469

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:21:y:2010:i:3:p:456-469

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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Keywords: Firm organization and market structure Industrialization Factor and Product Markets;

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References

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  1. Ruan, Jianqing & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2008. "Finance and cluster-based industrial development in China:," IFPRI discussion papers 768, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Fleisher, Belton & Li, Haizheng & Zhao, Min Qiang, 2010. "Human capital, economic growth, and regional inequality in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 215-231, July.
  3. Schmitz, Hubert & Nadvi, Khalid, 1999. "Clustering and Industrialization: Introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1503-1514, September.
  4. Zhang, Xiaobo & Tan, Kong-Yam, 2007. "Incremental Reform and Distortions in China’s Product and Factor Markets," MPRA Paper 6804, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Huang, Zuhui & Zhang, Xiaobo & Zhu, Yunwei, 2008. "The role of clustering in rural industrialization: A case study of the footwear industry in Wenzhou," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 409-420, September.
  6. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185.
  7. Keijiro Otsuka, 2006. "Cluster-Based Industrial Development: A View From East Asia," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 361-376.
  8. Eiji Yamamura & Tetsushi Sonobe & Keijiro Otsuka, 2003. "Human capital, cluster formation, and international relocation: the case of the garment industry in Japan, 1968--98," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 37-56, January.
  9. T. Sonobe & D. Hu & K. Otsuka, 2002. "Process of Cluster Formation in China: A Case Study of a Garment Town," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 118-139.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tetsushi Sonobe & Yuki Higuchi & Keijiro Otsuka, 2012. "Productivity Growth and Job Creation in the Development Process of Industrial Clusters," GRIPS Discussion Papers 11-22, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  2. Shahid Yusuf, 2012. "From Technological Catch-up to Innovation : The Future of China’s GDP Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12781, The World Bank.
  3. Bellandi, Marco & Lombardi, Silvia, 2012. "Specialized markets and Chinese industrial clusters: The experience of Zhejiang Province," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 626-638.
  4. Lin, Hui-Lin & Li, Hsiao-Yun & Yang, Chih-Hai, 2011. "Agglomeration and productivity: Firm-level evidence from China's textile industry," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 313-329, September.

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