Spatial Organization of Firms: The Decision to Split Production and Administration
A firm’s production activities are often supported by non-production activities. Among these activities are administrative units including headquarters, which process information both within and between firms. Often firms physically separate such administrative units from their production activities and create stand alone Central Administrative Offices (CAO). However, having its activities in multiple locations potentially imposes significant internal firm face-to-face communication costs. What types of firms are more likely to separate out such functions? If firms do separate administration and production, where do they place CAOs and why? How often do firms open and close, or relocate CAOs? This paper documents such firms’ decisions on their spatial organization by using micro-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
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