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Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach

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  • Glenn Ellison
  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

This paper discusses the prevalence of Silicon Valley-style localizations of individual manufacturing industries in the United States. Several models in which firms choose locations by throwing darts at a map are used to test whether the degree of localization is greater than would be expected to arise randomly and to motivate a new index of geographic concentration. The proposed index controls for differences in the size distribution of plants and for differences in the size of the geographic areas for which data is available. As a consequence, comparisons of the degree of geographic concentration across industries can be made with more confidence. We reaffirm previous observations in finding that almost all industries are localized, although the degree of localization appears to be slight in about half of the industries in our sample. We explore the nature of agglomerative forces in describing patterns of concentration, the geographic scope of localization, and the extent to which agglomerations involve plants in similar as opposed to identical industries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4840.

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Date of creation: Aug 1994
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Publication status: published as Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 105, no. 5 (1997): 889-927.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4840

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  1. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  2. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1991. "Urban Development: Theory, Fact, and Illusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195069020.
  3. Carlton, Dennis W, 1983. "The Location and Employment Choices of New Firms: An Econometric Model with Discrete and Continuous Endogenous Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 440-49, August.
  4. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-52, December.
    • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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