IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Agglomeration and productivity in China: Firm level evidence

Listed author(s):
  • Hu, Cui
  • Xu, Zhaoyuan
  • Yashiro, Naomitsu
Registered author(s):

    This paper conducts an in-depth evaluation on the role of industrial agglomeration in productivity growth of China's industrial sector by exploiting large dataset of manufacturing firms active in 176 three-digit industries and in 2860 counties. We also complement our analysis with the 2004 Census data to capture the agglomeration of small firms. Unlike previous studies that often focused on specific industries, we assess the impact of agglomeration in a comprehensive range of industries and extend the scope of analysis to upstream industries as well. Moreover, we explore how the ownership of Chinese firms shapes their ability to benefit from agglomeration effect as well as to act as the source of externality. We find that congestion and fiercer competition offset the benefits of agglomeration for firms operating within agglomerated regions. On the other hand, a co-location of large firms contributes significantly to productivity. We also find a more important contribution from the agglomeration of upstream industries than from that of the same industry. Private enterprises are the primary source of agglomeration effects especially in upstream industries, whereas their productivity is boosted most by the agglomeration of other private enterprises. We reckon that industrial agglomeration contributed up to 14% of the productivity growth in China's industrial sector between 2000 and 2007.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X15000024
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2015)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 50-66

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:50-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2015.01.001
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    2. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-954, July.
    3. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
    4. Chunlin Zhang & Douglas Zhihua Zeng & William Peter Mako & James Seward, 2009. "Promoting Enterprise-led Innovation in China," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2619, September.
    5. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    6. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 323-346, June.
    7. Davis, Donald R. & Weinstein, David E., 1999. "Economic geography and regional production structure: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 379-407, February.
    8. Sonobe, Tetsushi & Hu, Dinghuan & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "From inferior to superior products: an inquiry into the Wenzhou model of industrial development in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 542-563, September.
    9. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
    10. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 536-598, 06.
    11. Nicholas Bloom & Renata Lemos & Raffaella Sadun & Daniela Scur & John Reenen, 2014. "Jeea-Fbbva Lecture 2013: The New Empirical Economics Of Management," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 835-876, August.
    12. Nicholas Bloom & Renata Lemos & Raffaella Sadun & Daniela Scur & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The New Empirical Economics of Management," NBER Working Papers 20102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Robert C. Feenstra & Zhiyuan Li & Miaojie Yu, 2014. "Exports and Credit Constraints under Incomplete Information: Theory and Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 729-744, October.
    14. Giulio Cainelli & Donato Iacobucci, 2012. "Agglomeration, Related Variety, and Vertical Integration," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 88(3), pages 255-277, 07.
    15. Huang, Zuhui & Zhang, Xiaobo & Zhu, Yunwei, 2008. "The role of clustering in rural industrialization: A case study of the footwear industry in Wenzhou," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 409-420, September.
    16. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
    17. Batisse, Cecile, 2002. "Dynamic externalities and local growth: A panel data analysis applied to Chinese provinces," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 231-251.
    18. 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.
    19. Bai, Chong-En & Du, Yingjuan & Tao, Zhigang & Tong, Sarah Y., 2004. "Local protectionism and regional specialization: evidence from China's industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 397-417, July.
    20. Long, Cheryl & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2012. "Patterns of China's industrialization: Concentration, specialization, and clustering," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 593-612.
    21. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    22. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    23. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
    24. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    25. Thomas J. Holmes, 1999. "Localization Of Industry And Vertical Disintegration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 314-325, May.
    26. Greenaway, David & Kneller, Richard, 2008. "Exporting, productivity and agglomeration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 919-939, July.
    27. Lall, Somik V. & Shalizi, Zmarak & Deichmann, Uwe, 2004. "Agglomeration economies and productivity in Indian industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 643-673, April.
    28. Fleisher, Belton & Hu, Dinghuan & McGuire, William & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2010. "The evolution of an industrial cluster in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 456-469, September.
    29. Jefferson, Gary H. & Rawski, Thomas G. & Li, Wang & Yuxin, Zheng, 2000. "Ownership, Productivity Change, and Financial Performance in Chinese Industry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 786-813, December.
    30. Ito, Banri & Yashiro, Naomitsu & Xu, Zhaoyuan & Chen, XiaoHong & Wakasugi, Ryuhei, 2012. "How do Chinese industries benefit from FDI spillovers?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 342-356.
    31. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    33. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2003. "Marshall's scale economies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-28, January.
    34. Lin, Hui-Lin & Li, Hsiao-Yun & Yang, Chih-Hai, 2011. "Agglomeration and productivity: Firm-level evidence from China's textile industry," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 313-329, September.
    35. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
    36. Shanzi Ke, 2010. "Agglomeration, productivity, and spatial spillovers across Chinese cities," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1), pages 157-179, August.
    37. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    38. Li, Dongya & Lu, Yi & Wu, Mingqin, 2012. "Industrial agglomeration and firm size: Evidence from China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 135-143.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:50-66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.