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Regional Integration and Specialization Patterns in Spain


  • Elisenda Paluzie
  • Jordi Pons
  • Daniel Tirado


The aim of this paper is to analyse how economic integration in Europe has affected industrial geographical concentration in Spain and to explain the driving forces behind industry location. First, we construct regional specialization and geographical concentration indices for 50 Spanish provinces (NUTS III) and 30 industrial sectors in 1979, 1986 and 1992. Second, we carry out an econometric analysis of the determinants of the geographical concentration of industries. Our main conclusion is that there is no evidence of increasing specialization in Spain between 1979 and 1992, and that the most important determinant of Spain's economic geography is scale economies. Furthermore, traditional trade theory does not play a role in explaining the pattern of industrial concentration. Finally, inter-industry linkages have a negative effect on concentration, indicating that the opening up of the Spanish economy may have lessened the importance of being close to suppliers. Cet article cherche a analyser comment l'integration economique en Europe a influe sur la concentration geographique industrielle en Espagne et a expliquer les forces motrices a l'origine de la localisation industrielle. Dans un premier temps, on construit des indices de specialisation regionale et de concentration geographique pour 50 provinces en Espagne (NUTS III) et pour 30 secteurs industriels en 1979, 1986 et 1992. Dans un deuxieme temps, on fait une analyse econometrique des determinants de la concentration geographique des industries. Cela amenea conclure que la specialisation ne se developpe pas en Espagne entre 1979 et 1992, et que les economies d'echelle constituent le determinant le plus important de la geographie economique d'Espagne. En outre, la theorie d'echanges traditionnelle ne joue aucun role dans la structure de la concentration industrielle. Finalement, les echanges inter-industriels ont un impact negatif sur la concentration, ce qui laisse supposer que l'ouverture de l'economie espagnole aurait pu reduire l'importance de la proximite aux fournisseurs. Das Ziel dieses Aufsatzes ist, zu analysieren, inwieweit wirtschaftliche Integration in Europa sich auf die geographische Konzentration der Industrien in Spanien ausgewirkt hat, und die treibenden Krafte hinter Industriestandortwahl zu erklaren. Zunachst werden Register der regionalen Spezialisierung und der geographischen Konzentration fur 50 spanische Provinzen (NUTS III) und fur 30 Industriesektoren in den Jahren 1979, 1986 und 1992 aufgestellt. Danach wird eine okonomische Analyse der die geographische Konzentration der Industrien bestimmenden Faktoren durchgefuhrt. Die Hauptschlussfolgerung der Autoren lief darauf hinaus, dass im Zeitraum 1970-1992 keinerlei Anzeichen zunehmender Spezialisierung in Spanien zu verzeichnen waren, und dass der wichtigste, ausschlaggebende Faktor der Wirtschaftsgeographie Spaniens in der Kostendigression zu sehen ist. Daruber hinaus spielt uberkommene Handelstheorie keine Rolle bei der Erklarung von Mustern industrieller Konzentration. Ein letzter Punkt: zwischenindustrielle Verknupfungen uben eine negative Wirkung auf Konzentration aus, und weisen damit darauf hin, dass dank der Erschliessung der spanischen Wirtschaft die Bedeutung der Nahe zu Zulieferungsindustrien nachgelassen hat.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisenda Paluzie & Jordi Pons & Daniel Tirado, 2001. "Regional Integration and Specialization Patterns in Spain," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 285-296.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:35:y:2001:i:4:p:285-296
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400125457

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Geographical Concentration; Industrial Specialization; Economic Integration; Concentration Geographique; Specialkisation Industrielle; Intergration Economique; Geographische Konzentration; Industrielle Spezialiserung; Wirtschaftliche Integration;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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