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Plant Size and Industry-mix Effects on UK Regional Productivity, Wage Costs and Operating Surplus


  • Stephen Roper


ROPER S. (1998) Plant size and industry-mix effects on UK regional productivity, wage costs and operating surplus, Reg. Studies 32 , 325-332. The ability of a region to create wealth depends both on the competitiveness of its individual firms and its industrial structure. This paper examines the effect of industry-mix and plant size structure on the wealth generating capacity of the UK regions from 1980-91. Reflecting the findings of similar US studies, the analysis suggests that, in general, UK regions' structural disadvantages act to reinforce rather than counter plant level productivity, wage cost and operating surplus (profitability) differentials. Thus lagging regions face a three-fold disadvantage: poorly performing plants; disadvantageous industry-mix; and plant size structure. This suggests a need for a strategic approach to policy which must aim to counter regions' structural disadvantages as well as to improve the competitiveness of existing plants. ROPER S. (1998) Les effets de la taille des etablissements et de la structure industrielle sur la productivite, les couts salariaux et le resultat d'exploitation au Royaume-Uni, Reg. Studies 32 , 325-332. La capacite d'une region a creer de la richesse depend a la fois de la competitivite de ses entreprises et de sa structure industrielle. Cet article examine les effets de la structure industrielle et de la taille des entreprises sur la capacite des regions au Royaume-Uni a creer de la richesse entre 1980 et 1991. En accord avec les resultats des etudes similaires faites aux Etats-Unis, l'analyse laisse supposer qu'en regle generale les inconvenients structurels des regions au Royaume-Uni servent a renforcer plutot qu'a neutraliser les ecarts de productivite, des couts salariaux et du resultat d'exploitation (rentabilite) au niveau des etablissements. Par la suite, les regions defavorisees doivent affronter un desavantage a triple tranchant; la presence des etablissements qui ont de mauvais resultats, une structure industrielle et une ventilation des etablissements par taille defavorables. Cela laisse supposer qu'il faut une approche strategique qui doit chercher a neutraliser les inconvenients structurels des regions aussi bien qu'ameliorer la competitivite des etablissements existants. ROPER S. (1998) Die Auswirkung des Umfangs von Werksanlagen und Industriemischung auf regionale Produktivitat, Lohnkosten und Betriebsrentabilitat im Vereinigten Konigreich, Reg. Studies 32 , 325-332. Die Fahigkeit einer Region, Vermogen zu schaffen, hangt sowohl von der Wettbewerbsfahigkeit ihrer einzelnen Firmen als auch von ihrer industriellen Struktur ab. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die Auswirkung von Industriemischung und Grossenstruktur von Werksanlagen auf die Fahigkeit der Regionen des Vereinigten Konigreichs, im Zeitraum 1980-91 Vermogen zu schaffen. Wie auch die Befunde ahnlicher Studien in den USA, legt die Analyse nahe, dass die strukturellen Vorteile der Regionen des Vereinigten Konigreichs im allgemeinen eher dazu dienen, Leistungshohe, Lohnkosten und Rentabilitat von Betrieben zu unterbauen als ihnen zuwiderzulaufen. So sehen zuruckgebliebene Regionen sich einem dreifachen Nachteil gegenuber: ihre Aufgaben schlecht erfullenden Betrieben, nachteiliger Industriemischung und Betriebsgrossenstruktur. Dies weist auf die Notwendigkeit hin, strategisch auf Vorgehensweisen hinzuarbeiten, die darauf abzielen mussen, sowohl die strukturellen Nachteile der Regionen zu uberwinden wie auch Leistungsfahigkeit der bestehenden Betriebsanlagen zu verbessern.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Roper, 1998. "Plant Size and Industry-mix Effects on UK Regional Productivity, Wage Costs and Operating Surplus," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 325-332.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:32:y:1998:i:4:p:325-332
    DOI: 10.1080/00343409850117780

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Malhotra, Devinder M. & Garofalo, Gasper A., 1988. "Analysis of regional productivity with capital as a quasi-fixed factor," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 533-547, November.
    2. Fogarty, Michael S. & Garofalo, Gasper A., 1988. "Urban spatial structure and productivity growth in the manufacturing sector of cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 60-70, January.
    3. M. Denny & M. Fuss & J. D. May, 1981. "Intertemporal Changes in Regional Productivity in Canadian Manufacturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(3), pages 390-408, August.
    4. Sasaki, Komei, 1985. "Regional difference in total factor productivity and spatial features : Empirical Analysis on the Basis of a Sectoral Translog Production Function," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 489-516, November.
    5. Simon, Herbert A., 1982. "The rural-urban population balance again," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 599-606, November.
    6. Reinganum, Marc R & Smith, Janet Kiholm, 1983. "Investor Preference for Large Firms: New Evidence on Economies of Size," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 213-227, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Love, James H. & Roper, Stephen, 2000. "Location And Network Effects On Innovation Success: Evidence For Uk, German And Irish Manufacturing Firms," ERSA conference papers ersa00p67, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Love, James H. & Roper, Stephen, 2001. "Location and network effects on innovation success: evidence for UK, German and Irish manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 643-661, April.


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