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Testing for Localisation Using Micro-Geographic Data

  • Duranton, Gilles

    (London School of Economics)

  • Henry G Overman

To study the detailed location patterns of industries, and particularly the tendency for industries to cluster relative to overallmanufacturing, 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 Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 with number 69.

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Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:69
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 2000. "The Geographic Distribution of Production Activity in the UK," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1397, Econometric Society.
  4. 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.
  5. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  6. 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.
  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. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
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