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Measuring economic localization: Evidence from Japanese firm-level data

  • Nakajima, Kentaro
  • Saito, Yukiko Umeno
  • Uesugi, Iichiro

This paper examines location patterns of Japan’s manufacturing industries using a unique firm-level dataset on the geographic location of firms. Following the point-pattern approach proposed by Duranton and Overman (2005), we find the following. First, about half of Japan’s manufacturing industries can be classified as localized and the number of localized industries is largest for a distance level of 40km or less. Second, several industries in the textile mill products sector are among the most localized, which is similar to findings for the UK, suggesting that there exist common factors across countries determining the concentration of industrial activities. Third, the distribution of distances between entrant (exiting) firms and remaining firms is, in most industries, not significantly different from a random distribution. These results suggest that most industries in Japan neither become more localized nor more dispersed over time and are in line with similar findings by Duranton and Overman (2008) for the UK. Fourth, a comparison with the service sector indicates that the share of localized industries is higher in manufacturing than in services, although the extent of localization among the most localized manufacturing industries is smaller than that among the most localized service industries, including financial service industries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 201-220

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:26:y:2012:i:2:p:201-220
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  1. Gilles Duranton & Henry G. Overman, 2006. "Exploring the detailed location patterns of UK manufacturing industries using microgeographic data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19794, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. William Kerr & Edward Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 2007. "What Causes Industry Agglomeration? Evidence from Coagglomeration Patterns," Working Papers 07-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Giles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2003. "Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies," NBER Working Papers 9931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
  5. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  6. Gilles Duranton & Henry G. Overman, 2002. "Testing for localisation using micro-geographic data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20071, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ellison, G. & Glaeser, E.L., 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Working papers 94-27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Tomoya Mori & Koji Nishikimi & Tony E. Smith, 2005. "A Divergence Statistic for Industrial Localization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 635-651, November.
  13. Eric Marcon & Florence Puech, 2010. "Measures of the geographic concentration of industries: improving distance-based methods," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(5), pages 745-762, September.
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