Industrial mobility in the Netherlands : patterns, causes and impacts for spatial policy
The Mutation Balance project of the Dutch Chambers of Commerce indicates that in 1995 the annual number of firm migrations in the Netherlands was 67,700. This means that 7.9% of all firms registered by the Chambers of Commerce have moved in that year. On average, 180,000 jobs are involved in the migrations process. Since the mid nineteen eighties the firm mobility rate has been growing steadily. Business services are the most mobile sector, followed by wholesale. The greater part of the firm migrations are short distance moves, and most migrant firms are (very) small. The long distance migrations show a negative balance in terms of both firms and employees for the Randstad provinces (North and South Holland, since 1992 also Utrecht is a net loser). The intermediate zone (Flevoland, Gelderland, North Brabant) is a net receiver of migrant firms. The spatial scale of the deconcentration process is growing over time. The report analyses the location push- and pull-factors which are involved in the migration process. Especially space for expansion and accessibility are very important. The labour market acts as a keep-factor. Not only "hard" but also "soft" location factors have to be considered, such as the image of location alternatives. Finally, the importance of spatial policy is discussed. It stands out that the policy objective of reducing car mobility does not go very well together with the preference of migrant firms for accessible motorway locations.
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