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Testing for localization using micro-geographic data

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  • Gilles Duranton
  • Henry G. Overman

Abstract

To study the detailed location patterns of industries, and particularly the tendency for industries to cluster relative to overall manufacturing, we develop distance-based tests of localisation. In contrast to previous studies, our approach allows us to assess the statistical significance of departures from randomness. In addition, we treat space as continuous instead of using an arbitrary collection of geographical units. This avoids problems relating to scale and borders. We apply these tests to an exhaustive UK data set. For four-digit industries, we find that (i) 52% of them are localised at a 5% confidence level, (ii) localisation mostly takes place at small scales below 50 kilometres, (iii) the degree of localisation is very skewed, and (iv) industries follow broad sectoral patterns with respect to localisation. Depending on the industry, smaller establishments can be the main drivers of both localisation and dispersion. Three-digit sectors show similar patterns of localisation at small scales as well as a tendency to localise at medium scales.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/581/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 581.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies, October, 2005, 72(4), pp. 1077-1106. ISSN: 1467-937X
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:581

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Related research

Keywords: Localisation; clusters; k-density; spatial statistics. JEL classification codes: C19; R12; L70.;

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  1. Devereux, Michael P & Griffith, Rachel & Simpson, Helen, 2002. "The Geographical Distribution of Production Activity in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Maurel, Francoise & Sedillot, Beatrice, 1999. "A measure of the geographic concentration in french manufacturing industries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 575-604, September.
  3. Eric Marcon & Florence Puech, 2003. "Evaluating the geographic concentration of industries using distance-based methods," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 409-428, October.
  4. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  5. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  7. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2005. "Transport costs: measures, determinants, and regional policy implications for France," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 319-349, June.
  8. Thomas J. Holmes & John J. Stevens, 2002. "Geographic Concentration and Establishment Scale," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 682-690, November.
  9. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
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