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Marshall's Scale Economies

  • Vernon Henderson

In this paper, using panel data, I estimate plant level production functions that include variables that allow for two types of scale externalities which plants experie nce in their local industrial environments. First are externalities from other plants in the same industry locally, usually called localization economies or, in a dynamic context, Marshall, Arrow, Romer [MAR] economies. Second are externalities from the scale or diversity of local economic activity outside the own industry involving some type of cross- fertilization, usually called urbanization economies or, in a dynamic context, Jacobs economies. Estimating production functions for plants in high tech industries and in capital goods, or machinery industries, I find that local own industry scale externalities, as measured specifically by the count of other own industry plants locally, have strong productivity effects in high tech but not machinery industries. I find evidence that single plant firms both benefit more from and generate greater external benefits than corporate plants. On timing, I find evidence that high tech single plant firms benefit from the scale of past own industry activity, as well as current activity. I find no evidence of urbanization economies from the diversity of local economic activity outside the own industry and limited evidence of urbanization economies from the overall scale of local economic activity.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 01-17.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:01-17
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Arthur, W. Brian, 1990. "'Silicon Valley' locational clusters: when do increasing returns imply monopoly?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 235-251, June.
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  5. 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.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  7. James D. Adams & Adam B. Jaffe, 1996. "Bounding the Effects of R&D: An Investigation Using Matched Establishment-Firm Data," NBER Working Papers 5544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Beardsell, Mark & Henderson, Vernon, 1999. "Spatial evolution of the computer industry in the USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 431-456, February.
  9. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
  10. Randy A. Becker & J. Vernon Henderson, 2001. "Costs of Air Quality Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 159-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Venables, Anthony J, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 802, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Zvi Eckstein, 1994. "Cities and Growth: Theory and Evidence from france and Japan," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 36, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  14. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2003. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 56, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
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  18. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  19. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  20. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:89:y:1975:i:3:p:393-413 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Vernon Henderson, 1999. "Marshall's Economies," NBER Working Papers 7358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  25. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  26. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
  27. Yukako Ono, 2000. "Outsourcing Business Service and the Scope of Local Markets," Working Papers 00-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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