IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why and Where do Headquarters Move?

  • Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa
  • Vives, Xavier

This paper analyses decisions regarding the location of headquarters in the US for the period 1996-2001. Using a unique firm-level database of about 30,000 US headquarters, we study the firm- and location-specific characteristics of headquarters that relocated over that period. Headquarters are concentrated, increasingly so in medium-sized service-oriented metropolitan areas, and the rate of relocation is significant (5% a year). Larger (in terms of sales) and younger headquarters tend to relocate more often, as well as larger (in terms of the number of headquarters) and foreign firms, and firms that are the outcome of a merger. Headquarters relocate to metropolitan areas with good airport facilities, low corporate taxes, low average wages, high level of business services and agglomeration of headquarters in the same sector of activity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5070.

in new window

Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5070
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20101, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life-Cycle of Products," CEPR Discussion Papers 2376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Jean-Louis Mucchielli & Florence Puech, 2003. "Internationalisation et localisation des firmes multinationales : l'exemple des entreprises françaises en Europe," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 363(1), pages 129-144.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "The Economics of Location-Based Tax Incentives," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1932, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Tyler Diacon & Thomas H. Klier, 2003. "Where the headquarters are – evidence from large public companies 1990-2000," Working Paper Series WP-03-35, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Crémer, Jacques & Garicano, Luis & Prat, Andrea, 2004. "Codes in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2008. "The agglomeration of headquarters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 445-460, September.
  12. Michael Greenstone & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Bidding for Industrial Plants: Does Winning a 'Million Dollar Plant' Increase Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 9844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Adsera, A., 1998. "Sectoral Spillovers and the Price of Land. A Cost Analysis," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 413.98, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  14. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
  15. Ekholm, Karolina & Forslid, Rikard, 1998. "Trade and Location with Horizontal and Vertical Multi-Region Firms," Working Paper Series 504, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  16. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  17. Lovely, Mary E. & Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Sharma, Shalini, 2005. "Information, agglomeration, and the headquarters of U.S. exporters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 167-191, March.
  18. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
  19. J. Vernon Henderson & Yukako Ono, 2005. "Where Do Manufacturing Firms Locate Their Headquarters?," Working Papers 05-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  20. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, July.
  21. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2003. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 56, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  22. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
  23. Paul Krugman, 1992. "A Dynamic Spatial Model," NBER Working Papers 4219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Keith Head & John Ries & Deborah Swenson, 1994. "Agglomeration Benefits and Location Choice: Evidence from Japanese Manufacturing Investment in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Thomas J. Holmes, 2005. "The Location of Sales Offices and the Attraction of Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 551-581, June.
  26. Leon Shilton & Craig Stanley, 1999. "Spatial Patterns of Headquarters," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 17(3), pages 341-364.
  27. Jacques Crémer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2007. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 373-407, 02.
  28. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," 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 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  29. Dekle, Robert & Eaton, Jonathan, 1999. "Agglomeration and Land Rents: Evidence from the Prefectures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 200-214, September.
  30. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2005. "Firms' location decision across asymmetric countries and employment inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 299-320, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5070. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.