Agglomeration Elasticities and Firm Heterogeneity
AbstractThis paper estimates the relationship between agglomeration and multi factor productivity at the one digit industry level and by region using longitudinal firm level data for New Zealand. A key focus of the paper is on methods to represent firm level heterogeneity and non-random sorting of firms. The panel structure of the data allows us to control for it at the level of local industries or enterprises. We obtain a cross-sectional agglomeration elasticity of 0.171, which falls by 70% when we use local industry controls, and by 90% when we impose enterprise fixed effects. Using industry specific production functions, we find that the "within local industry" estimates are similar, though slightly larger than the cross sectional estimates (~0.070), suggesting negative sorting between areas, combined with positive sorting within areas. The within-enterprise estimates yield a small elasticity of 0.010. Our results indicate that the imposition of a common production technology across all industries is not a valid assumption. While cross-sectional estimates may overstate the true impact of agglomeration on productivity in the presence of positive bias from sorting, the within enterprise approach (which is increasingly common in the literature) can suffer from identification problems due to the highly persistent nature of agglomeration variables and may understate the true causal effect of agglomeration on productivity. We thus rely on the "within local industry" estimates as providing the most reliable indication of agglomeration elasticities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0043.
Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp
Agglomeration; urban density; productivity;
Other versions of this item:
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Production Analysis, and Firm Location
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2010-11-20 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-URE-2010-11-20 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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