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Spatial Organization of Firms: The Decision to Split Production and Administration

Author

Listed:
  • Kristin Aarland
  • James Davis
  • J Vernon Henderson
  • Yukako Ono

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristin Aarland & James Davis & J Vernon Henderson & Yukako Ono, 2004. "Spatial Organization of Firms: The Decision to Split Production and Administration," Working Papers 04-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:04-03
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2004/CES-WP-04-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    2. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    3. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Behrens, Kristian & Sharunova, Vera, 2015. "Inter- and intra-firm linkages: Evidence from microgeographic location patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 10921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Diego Puga, 2008. "Agglomeration and cross-border infrastructure," Working Papers 2008-06, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
    3. Xavier Giroud, 2010. "Soft Information and Investment: Evidence from Plant-Level Data," Working Papers 10-38r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Nov 2010.
    4. P. Charnoz & C. Lelarge & C. Trevien, 2017. "Communication Costs and the Internal Organization of Multi-Plant Businesses: Evidence from the Impact of the French High-Speed Rail," Working papers 635, Banque de France.
    5. David Audretsch & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2011. "Who’s got the aces up his sleeve? Functional specialization of cities and entrepreneurship," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 46(3), pages 621-636, June.
    6. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2008. "The agglomeration of headquarters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 445-460, September.
    7. Ioannides, Yannis M., 2015. "Neighborhoods to nations via social interactions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 5-15.
    8. Franz-Josef Bade & Eckhardt Bode & Eleonora Cutrini, 2015. "Spatial fragmentation of industries by functions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(1), pages 215-250, January.
    9. William R. Kerr & Scott Duke Kominers, 2015. "Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 877-899, October.
    10. G. F. Gori, 2013. "Urban Functional Specialisation and the Interplay between Firm’s Communication Costs," Working Papers wp877, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    11. Chris Forman, 2013. "How has information technology use shaped the geography of economic activity?," Chapters,in: Handbook of Industry Studies and Economic Geography, chapter 10, pages 253-270 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Toshihiro Okubo & Eiichi Tomiura, 2016. "Multi-plant operation and corporate headquarters separation: Evidence from Japanese plant-level," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2016-016, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    13. OKUBO Toshihiro & TOMIURA Eiichi, 2016. "Multi-plant Operation and Corporate Headquarters Separation: Evidence from Japanese plant-level panel data," Discussion papers 16002, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    14. Gilles Duranton, 2015. "Growing through Cities in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(1), pages 39-73.
    15. Alexander Cordes, 2012. "What Drives Skill-biased Regional Employment Growth in West Germany?," Chapters,in: Foundations of the Knowledge Economy, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Deschryvere, Matthias, 2009. "Mobility of Corporate Headquarter Functions: A Literature Review," Discussion Papers 1203, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    17. Okubo, Toshihiro & Tomiura, Eiichi, 2016. "Multi-plant operation and headquarters separation: Evidence from Japanese plant-level panel data," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 12-22.
    18. Francis, Bill B. & Hasan, Iftekhar & John, Kose & Waisman, Maya, 2016. "Urban Agglomeration and CEO Compensation," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(06), pages 1925-1953, December.
    19. Liao, Wen-Chi, 2012. "Inshoring: The geographic fragmentation of production and inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.

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