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Local Economic Structure and Growth

  • Rita Almeida

Abstract This paper tests how the local economic structure—measured by local sector specialization, competition and diversity—affects growth of manufacturing sectors. Most of the empirical literature assumes that in the long run more productive regions will attract more workers and use employment growth as a measure of local productivity growth. However, this approach is based on strong assumptions, such as those of national labour markets and homogeneous labour. This paper shows that if we relax these assumptions, regional adjusted wage growth is a better measure of productivity growth than employment growth. This measure is used in order to study regional growth in Portuguese regions between 1985 and 1994. Evidence is found of MAR externalities in some sectors and no evidence of Jacobs or Porter externalities in most of the sectors. These results are at odds with the findings for employment-based regressions, which show that regional concentration and the region's size have a negative effect in most of the sectors. It is also shown that simply using regional wage growth would overstate the effect of regional concentration and competition on long-run growth.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 65-90

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Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:2:y:2007:i:1:p:65-90
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