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Industrial Location in Developing Countries

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  • Uwe Deichmann
  • Somik V. Lall
  • Stephen J. Redding
  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

Despite a diminishing role in industrial countries, the manufacturing sector continues to be an engine of economic growth in most developing countries. This article surveys the evidence on the determinants of industry location in developing countries. It also employs micro data for India and Indonesia to illustrate recent spatial dynamics of manufacturing relocation within urban agglomerations. Both theory and empirical evidence suggest that agglomeration benefits, market access, and infrastructure endowments in large cities outweigh the costs of congestion, higher wages, and land prices. Despite this evidence, many countries have tried to encourage industrial firms to locate in secondary cities or other lagging areas. Cross-country evidence suggests that fiscal incentives to do so rarely succeed. They appear to influence business location decisions among comparable locations, but the result may be a negative-sum game between regions and inefficiently low tax rates, which prevent public goods from being funded at sufficiently high levels. Relocation tends to be within and between agglomerations rather than from large cities to smaller cities or lagging regions. Rather than provide subsidies and tax breaks, policymakers should focus on streamlining laws and regulations to make the business environment more attractive. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / the world bank . All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Deichmann & Somik V. Lall & Stephen J. Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2008. "Industrial Location in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 219-246, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:23:y:2008:i:2:p:219-246
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    2. Carla Daniela Calá & Miguel Manjón-Antolín & Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod, 2016. "Regional determinants of firm entry in a developing country," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, pages 259-279.
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    7. Fujita, Yasuo & Takeda, Asami, 2014. "Effects of Transport Corridor Development on Firms’ Locational Choice and Firms’ Perception of Business Environment: A Preliminary Analysis of Transport Corridors in Mozambique," Working Papers 74, JICA Research Institute.
    8. Deichmann, Uwe & Shilpi, Forhad & Vakis, Renos, 2009. "Urban Proximity, Agricultural Potential and Rural Non-farm Employment: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 645-660, March.
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    13. Somik V. Lall & Elizabeth Schroeder & Emily Schmidt, 2014. "Identifying Spatial Efficiency-Equity Trade-offs in Territorial Development Policies: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(12), pages 1717-1733, December.
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    21. Brulhart, Marius & Hoppe, Mombert, 2011. "Economic integration in the lower Congo region : opening the Kinshasa-Brazzaville bottleneck," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5909, The World Bank.
    22. Emma Howard & Carol Newman & Finn Tarp, 2016. "Measuring industry coagglomeration and identifying the driving forces," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(5), pages 1055-1078.
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