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Testing for Localisation Using Micro-Geographic Data

  • Gilles Duranton
  • Henry Overman

To study the detailed location patterns of industries, and particularly the tendency for industries to cluster relative to overall manufacturing, we develop distance-based tests of localisation. In contrast to previous studies, our approach allows us to assess the statistical significance of departures from randomness. In addition, we treat space as continuous instead of using an arbitrary collection of geographical units. This avoids problems relating to scale and borders. We apply these tests to an exhaustive UK data set. For four-digit industries, we find that (i) only 51% of them are localised at a 5% confidence level, (ii) localisation takes place mostly at small scales below 50 kilometres, (iii) the degree of localisation is very skewed, and (iv) industries follow broad sectoral patterns with respect to localisation. Depending on the industry, smaller establishments can be the main drivers of both localisation and dispersion. Three-digit sectors show similar patterns of localisation at small scales as well as a tendency to localise at medium scales.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0540.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0540
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Eric Marcon & Florence Puech, 2003. "Evaluating the geographic concentration of industries using distance-based methods," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 409-428, October.
  2. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2005. "Transport costs: measures, determinants, and regional policy implications for France," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 319-349, June.
  3. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 1999. "The geographic distribution of production activity in the UK," IFS Working Papers W99/26, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," NBER Working Papers 4840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thomas J. Holmes & John J. Stevens, 2002. "Geographic Concentration and Establishment Scale," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 682-690, November.
  8. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  9. Eric Marcon & Florence Puech, 2003. "Evaluating the Geographic Concentration of Industries Using Distance-Based Methods," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00372646, HAL.
  10. Maurel, Francoise & Sedillot, Beatrice, 1999. "A measure of the geographic concentration in french manufacturing industries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 575-604, September.
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