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Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Clusters, 1908-1915

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  • Arimoto, Yutaka
  • Nakajima, Kentaro
  • Okazaki, Tetsuji

Abstract

We examine two sources of productivity improvement in the specialized industrial clusters of the early twentieth century Japanese silk-reeling industry. Agglomeration improves the productivity of each plant through positive externalities, shifting plant-level productivity distribution to the right. Selection expels less productive plants through competition, truncating distribution on the left. We find no evidence confirming a right shift in the distribution in clusters or that agglomeration promotes faster productivity growth. Rather, the distribution in clusters was severely left truncated, even for younger plants. These findings imply that the plant-selection effect was the source of higher productivity in the Japanese silk-reeling clusters.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/18972/1/No7-dp_10_07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series with number 7.

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Length: 29 p.
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:primdp:7

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Keywords: Economic geography; Heterogenous firms; Industrial clusters; Productivity;

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  1. Corocs Gregory & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I P. Ottaviano, 2009. "Productivity and firm selection: quantifying the "new" gains from trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33249, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Pierre Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Diego Puga & Sébastien Roux, 2009. "The productivity advantages of large cities: Distinguishing agglomeration from firm selection," Working Papers 2009-02, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 30 Nov 2010.
  3. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion & Yasusada Murata & Jens Südekum, 2009. "Trade, wages and productivity," Working Paper Research 161, National Bank of Belgium.
  4. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Spatial Selection and Sorting," NBER Working Papers 11650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcello Pagnini & Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Matteo Gomellini, 2011. "Mapping Local Productivity Advantages In Italy: Industrial Districts, Cities Or Both?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1806, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Antonio Accetturo & Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Marcello Pagnini, 2013. "Geography, Productivity and Trade: Does Selection Explain Why Some Locations Are More Productive than Others?," Working Paper Series 24_13, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  3. Tomoko Hashino & Keijiro Otsuka, 2012. "Hand looms, power looms, and changing production organizations: the case of the Kiryu weaving district in the early 20th century Japan," Economic History Working Papers 41659, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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