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Geographic Redistribution of the U.S. Manufacturing and The Role of State Development Policy


  • Yoonsoo Lee


Competition among state and local governments to lure businesses has attracted considerable interest from economists, as well as legislators and policy makers. This paper quantifies the role of plant relocations in the geographic redistribution of manufacturing employment and examines the effectiveness of state development policy. Only a few studies have looked at how manufacturing firms locate their production facilities geographically; they have used either small manufacturing samples or small geographic regions. This paper provides broader evidence of the impact of plant relocations using confidential establishment level data from the U.S. Census Longitudinal Research Database (LRD), covering the full population of manufacturing establishments in the United States over the period from 1972 to 1992. This paper finds a relatively small role for relocation in explaining the disparity of manufacturing employment growth rates across states. Moreover, it finds evidence of very weak effects of incentive programs on plant relocations.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoonsoo Lee, 2007. "Geographic Redistribution of the U.S. Manufacturing and The Role of State Development Policy," Working Papers 07-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:07-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Evan Morris, 2008. "Fiscal Competitiveness and Total Competitiveness: A Note," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(4), pages 511-518, December.

    More about this item


    entry; exit; relocation; tax incentive;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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