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Close, but not the same: Locally headquartered organizations and agglomeration economies in a declining industry


  • Audia, Pino G.
  • Rider, Christopher I.


Departing from research on expanding, high-technology industries, we study the impact of agglomeration in a declining, low-technology industry. The setting is U.S. footwear manufacturing between 1975 and 1991, when import competition rendered local support critical for survival. We examine how agglomeration-related survival benefits depended upon the presence of locally headquartered manufacturing plants and whether such benefits came at the expense of other local industries. Consistent with ecological arguments, plant failure rates were higher in agglomerations but this effect was attenuated and, in some cases, reversed in agglomerations with more locally headquartered plants. Moreover, only locally headquartered plants experienced such benefits; remotely headquartered plants failed at higher rates in agglomerations. Although more footwear manufacturing jobs were retained in agglomerations with many locally headquartered plants, such locales also exhibited lower manufacturing job growth in other industries. These findings lend greater generalizability to agglomeration theories and also imply trade-offs at the community level.

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  • Audia, Pino G. & Rider, Christopher I., 2010. "Close, but not the same: Locally headquartered organizations and agglomeration economies in a declining industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 360-374, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:3:p:360-374

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    Cited by:

    1. Anil R. Doshi & Glen W.S. Dowell & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "How Firms Respond to Mandatory Information Disclosure," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-001, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2012.
    2. Hervas-Oliver,Jose-Luis & Sempere-Ripoll,Francisca, 2014. "Agglomerations and firm performance: how does it work, who benefits and how much?," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201411, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 01 Dec 2014.
    3. Hervas Oliver,Jose Luis & Gonzalez,Gregorio & Caja,Pedro, 2014. "Clusters and industrial districts: where is the literature going? Identifying emerging sub-fields of research," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201409, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
    4. Gilbert, Brett Anitra, 2012. "Creative destruction: Identifying its geographic origins," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 734-742.


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