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Labor Pooling as a Source of Agglomeration: An Empirical Investigation

In: Agglomeration Economics

  • Henry G. Overman
  • Diego Puga

We provide empirical evidence on the role of labour market pooling in determining the spatial concentration of UK manufacturing establishments. This role arises because large concentrations of employment iron out idiosyncratic shocks and improve establishments’ ability to adapt their employment to good and bad times. We measure the likely importance of labour pooling by calculating the fluctuations in employment of individual establishments relative to their sector and averaging by sector. Our results show that sectors whose establishments experience more idiosyncratic volatility are more spatially concentrated, even after controlling for a range of other industry characteristics that include a novel measure of the importance of localized intermediate suppliers.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Edward L. Glaeser, 2010. "Agglomeration Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number glae08-1, September.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 7981.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7981
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    1. Gilles Duranton & Henry Overman, 2002. "Testing for Localisation Using Micro-Geographic Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp0540, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg, 2003. "Knife-Edge or Plateau: When do Market Models Tip?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000098, David K. Levine.
    3. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
    4. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315.
    5. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
    6. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
    7. Thomas J. Holmes, 1999. "Localization Of Industry And Vertical Disintegration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 314-325, May.
    8. Gary S. Murphy Becker & Kevin M., 1992. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 79, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    9. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2003. "Microfoundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4062, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2008. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," Post-Print halshs-00754296, HAL.
    11. Glaeser, Edward L., 2008. "Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290444, December.
    12. Baumgardner, James R, 1988. "The Division of Labor, Local Markets, and Worker Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 509-27, June.
    13. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
    14. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    15. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1990. "Matching and agglomeration economies in a system of cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 189-212, September.
    16. Wheaton, William C. & Lewis, Mark J., 2002. "Urban Wages and Labor Market Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 542-562, May.
    17. Ellison, G. & Glaeser, E.L., 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Working papers 94-27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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