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Geographic Concentration and the Temporal Scope of Agglomeration Economics: An Index Decomposition


  • Colin Wren


The paper decomposes a geographical concentration index to examine the temporal scope of a spillover, which is the period of time over which one firm's activity directly affects the location of other firms' activities. Natural advantages are fixed over reasonably long time periods, but if spillovers have a limited temporal scope then this can be used to identify these agglomeration economies. To operationalize the index decomposition the paper proposes an empirical methodology that is based on frequency estimator approach, which is applied across time periods. The approach is tested by numerical simulation and by application to a dataset on the location of new economic activity across British regions in the form of investment by foreign-owned plants. Overall, the results support the approach and indicate that the temporal scope of a spillover is on average about five years.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Wren, 2011. "Geographic Concentration and the Temporal Scope of Agglomeration Economics: An Index Decomposition," SERC Discussion Papers 0094, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0094

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Crozet, Matthieu & Mayer, Thierry & Mucchielli, Jean-Louis, 2004. "How do firms agglomerate? A study of FDI in France," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 27-54, January.
    2. Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, E. & Teixeira, Antonio-Carlos, 2005. "The dynamics of agglomeration: evidence from Ireland and Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 170-188, January.
    3. Head, Keith & Ries, John & Swenson, Deborah, 1995. "Agglomeration benefits and location choice: Evidence from Japanese manufacturing investments in the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 223-247, May.
    4. Lafourcade, Miren & Mion, Giordano, 2007. "Concentration, agglomeration and the size of plants," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 46-68, January.
    5. Basile, Roberto & Castellani, Davide & Zanfei, Antonello, 2008. "Location choices of multinational firms in Europe: The role of EU cohesion policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 328-340, March.
    6. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-1090, October.
    7. Karlsson, Charlie & Johansson, Börje, 2006. "Regional Development and Knowledge," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 76, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    8. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • 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.
    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. Sergio Mariotti & Lucia Piscitello & Stefano Elia, 2010. "Spatial agglomeration of multinational enterprises: the role of information externalities and knowledge spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 519-538, July.
    11. Jonathan Jones & Colin Wren, 2011. "On the Relative Importance of Agglomeration Economies in the Location of FDI Across British Regions," SERC Discussion Papers 0089, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    12. Thomas Doring & Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "What do we know about geographical knowledge spillovers and regional growth?: A survey of the literature," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 375-395.
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    More about this item


    Industrial location; agglomeration forces; geographic concentration index; spillovers; temporal scope;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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