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Concentration, agglomeration and the size of plants

  • LAFOURCADE, Miren
  • MION, Giordano

This paper investigates whether the geographic distribution of manufacturing activities depends on the size of plants. Using Italian data, we find, as in Kim [Kim, S., 1995. Expansion of markets and the geographic concentration of economic activities: the trends in U.S. regional manufacturing structure, 1860–1987, Quarterly Journal of Economics 110 (4), 881–908.], Holmes and Stevens [Holmes, T.J., and Stevens, J.J., 2002. Geographic concentration and establishment scale, Review of Economics and Statistics 84, 682–690.], and Holmes and Stevens [Holmes, T.J. and Stevens, J.J., 2004. Spatial distribution of economic activities in North America, in: J.V. Henderson and J.F. Thisse, eds., Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Vol.4, (Elsevier-North Holland, Amsterdam).], that large plants are more concentrated than small plants. However, considering distance-based patterns via spatial auto-correlation, we find that small establishments actually exhibit a greater tendency to be located in adjacent areas. These apparently contradictory findings raise a measurement issue regarding co-location externalities and suggest that large plants are more likely to cluster within narrow geographical units (concentration), while small establishments would rather co-locate within wider distance-based clusters (agglomeration). This picture is consistent with different size plants engaging in different transport-intensive activities.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2006.04.004
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -1963.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-1963
Note: In : Regional Science and Urban Economics, 37, 46-48, 2007
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  1. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Henry G. Overman, 2005. "Testing for Localization Using Micro-Geographic Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1077-1106.
  3. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  4. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 323-346, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Ellison, G. & Glaeser, E.L., 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Working papers 94-27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel & Simpson, Helen, 2002. "The Geographical Distribution of Production Activity in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2003. "Geographic concentration and establishment scale: can panel data tell us more ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2003036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. 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.
  10. Holmes, Thomas J. & Stevens, John J., 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in North America," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 63, pages 2797-2843 Elsevier.
  11. Marcello Pagnini, 2003. "Misura e determinanti dell’agglomerazione spaziale nei comparti industriali in Italia," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 93(2), pages 149-, March-Apr.
  12. Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, Eric & Teixeira, Antonio Carlos, 2004. "The dynamics of Agglomeration: Evidence from Ireland and Portugal," MPRA Paper 5706, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Antonio Ciccone, 1998. "Agglomeration-effects in Europe," Economics Working Papers 499, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 1999.
  14. 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.
  15. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  16. Anthony J. Venables & Henry G. Overman & Karen Helen Midelfart-Knarvik & Stephen Redding, 2002. "Integration and Industrial Specialisation in the European Union," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 53(3), pages 469-481.
  17. repec:cor:louvrp:1963 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya & Henderson, J. Vernon & Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in Japan and China," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 65, pages 2911-2977 Elsevier.
  19. Giuseppe Arbia, 2001. "articles: Modelling the geography of economic activities on a continuous space," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 80(4), pages 411-424.
  20. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Henry Overman, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Economic Activities in the European Union," CEP Discussion Papers dp0587, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. 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.
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