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Growth and Location of Economic Activity: The Spatial Dynamics of Industries in Canada 1971-2001

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  • MARIO POLESE
  • RICHARD SHEARMUR

Abstract

A growing literature has accumulated that points to the stability of industrial location patterns. Can this be reconciled with spatial dynamics? This article starts with the premise that demonstrable regularities exist in the manner in which individual industries locate (and relocate) over space. For Canada, spatial distributions of employment are examined for seventy-one industries over a thirty-year period (1971-2001). Industry data is organized by "synthetic regions" based on urban size and distance criteria. "Typical" location patterns are identified for industry groupings. Industrial spatial concentrations are then compared over time using correlation analysis, showing a high degree of stability. Stable industrial location patterns are not, the article finds, incompatible with differential regional growth. Five spatial processes are identified, driving change. The chief driving force is the propensity of dynamic industries to start up in large metro areas, setting off a process of diffusion (for services) and crowding out (for manufacturing), offset by the centralizing impact of greater consumer mobility and falling transport costs. These changes do not, however, significantly alter the "relative" spatial distribution of most industries over time. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing.

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  • Mario Polese & Richard Shearmur, 2006. "Growth and Location of Economic Activity: The Spatial Dynamics of Industries in Canada 1971-2001," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 362-395.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:37:y:2006:i:3:p:362-395
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    Cited by:

    1. Brunow, Stephan & Hammer, Andrea & Mc Cann, Philip, 2017. "Innovation and location in German knowledge intensive business service firms," IAB Discussion Paper 201722, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Evert J Meijers & Martijn J Burger, 2017. "Stretching the concept of ‘borrowed size’," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 54(1), pages 269-291, January.
    3. Boris A. Portnov & Moshe Schwartz, 2009. "Urban Clusters As Growth Foci," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 287-310.
    4. Gordon Mulligan & Mark Partridge & John Carruthers, 2012. "Central place theory and its reemergence in regional science," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 405-431, April.

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