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Concentration, agglomeration and the size of plants

  • Lafourcade, Miren
  • Mion, Giordano

This paper investigates whether the geographic distribution of manufacturing activities depends on the size of plants. Using Italian data we find, as in Kim (1995) and Holmes and Stevens (2002, 2004), that large plants are more concentrated than small plants. However, considering distance-based patterns via spatial auto-correlation, we find that small establishments actually exhibit a greater tendency to be located in adjacent areas. These apparently contradictory findings raise a measurement issue regarding co-location externalities, and suggest that large plants are more likely to cluster within narrow geographical units (concentration), while small establishments would rather co-locate within wider distance-based clusters (agglomeration). This picture is consistent with different size plants engaging in different transport-intensive activities.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 46-68

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:37:y:2007:i:1:p:46-68
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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  2. 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.
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  7. BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2003. "Geographic concentration and establishment scale: can panel data tell us more ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2003036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Antonio Ciccone, 1998. "Agglomeration-effects in Europe," Economics Working Papers 499, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 1999.
  9. Miren Lafourcade & Pierre-Philippe Combes, 2005. "Transport Costs: Measures, Determinants and Regional Policy Implications for France," Post-Print halshs-00754078, HAL.
  10. Thomas J. Holmes & John J. Stevens, 2002. "Geographic Concentration and Establishment Scale," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 682-690, November.
  11. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 1999. "The geographic distribution of production activity in the UK," IFS Working Papers W99/26, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  13. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Henry G. Overman, 2003. "The spatial distribution of economic activities in the European Union," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20023, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. 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.
  15. Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, E. & Teixeira, Antonio-Carlos, 2005. "The dynamics of agglomeration: evidence from Ireland and Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 170-188, January.
  16. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya & Henderson, J. Vernon & Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in Japan and China," 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 65, pages 2911-2977 Elsevier.
  17. Giuseppe Arbia, 2001. "articles: Modelling the geography of economic activities on a continuous space," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 80(4), pages 411-424.
  18. Holmes, Thomas J. & Stevens, John J., 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in North America," 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 63, pages 2797-2843 Elsevier.
  19. Marcello Pagnini, 2003. "Misura e determinanti dell’agglomerazione spaziale nei comparti industriali in Italia," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 93(2), pages 149-, March-Apr.
  20. Miren Lafourcade & Giordano Mion, 2007. "Concentration, agglomeration and the size of plants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 42666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  21. 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.
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