IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/108436.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the productivity advantage of cities

Author

Listed:
  • Jacob, Nick
  • Mion, Giordano

Abstract

Ever since Marshall (1890) agglomeration externalities have been viewed as the key factor explaining the existence of cities and their size. However, while the various micro foundations of agglomeration externalities stress the importance of Total Factor Productivity (TFP), the empirical evidence on agglomeration externalities rests on measures obtained using firm revenue or value-added as a measure of firm output: revenue-based TFP (TFP-R). This paper uses data on French manufacturing firms' revenue, quantity and prices to estimate TFP and TFP-R and decompose the latter into various elements. Our analysis suggests that the revenue productivity advantage of denser areas is mainly driven by higher prices charged rather than differences in TFP. At the same time, firms in denser areas are able to sell higher quantities, and generate higher revenues, despite higher prices. These and other results we document suggest that firms in denser areas are able to charge higher prices because they sell higher demand/quality products. Finally, while the correlation between firm revenue TFP and firm size is positive in each location, it is also systematically related to density: firms with higher (lower) TFP-R account for a larger (smaller) share of total revenue in denser areas. These patterns thus amplify in aggregate regional-level figures any firm-level differences in productivity across space.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob, Nick & Mion, Giordano, 2020. "On the productivity advantage of cities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108436, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:108436
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/108436/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mary Amiti & Oleg Itskhoki & Jozef Konings, 2014. "Importers, Exporters, and Exchange Rate Disconnect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1942-1978, July.
    2. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    3. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2008. "Pricing-to-Market, Trade Costs, and International Relative Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1998-2031, December.
    4. Pierre‐Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Diego Puga & Sébastien Roux, 2012. "The Productivity Advantages of Large Cities: Distinguishing Agglomeration From Firm Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2543-2594, November.
    5. Ciccone, Antonio, 2002. "Agglomeration effects in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
    6. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2012. "Markups and Firm-Level Export Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2437-2471, October.
    7. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Giordano Mion & Paolo Naticchioni, 2009. "The spatial sorting and matching of skills and firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 28-55, February.
    9. Campa, Jose M. & Goldberg, Linda S. & Gonzalez-Minguez, Jose M., 2005. "Exchange-rate pass-through to import prices in the euro area," IESE Research Papers D/609, IESE Business School.
    10. Evgeny Zhelobodko & Sergey Kokovin & Mathieu Parenti & Jacques‐François Thisse, 2012. "Monopolistic Competition: Beyond the Constant Elasticity of Substitution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2765-2784, November.
    11. José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2005. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 679-690, November.
    12. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    13. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
    14. Jorge De La Roca & Diego Puga, 2017. "Learning by Working in Big Cities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 106-142.
    15. Behrens, Kristian & Mion, Giordano & Murata, Yasusada & Suedekum, Jens, 2017. "Spatial frictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 40-70.
    16. Monika Mrázová & J. Peter Neary, 2017. "Not So Demanding: Demand Structure and Firm Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3835-3874, December.
    17. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63, Elsevier.
    18. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
    19. Emanuele Forlani & Ralf Martin & Giordano Mion & Mirabelle Muûls, 2016. "Unraveling firms: Demand, productivity and markups heterogeneity," Working Paper Research 293, National Bank of Belgium.
    20. 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.
    21. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    22. Colin J. Hottman & Stephen J. Redding & David E. Weinstein, 2016. "Quantifying the Sources of Firm Heterogeneity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1291-1364.
    23. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    24. John Haltiwanger & Robert Kulick & Chad Syverson, 2018. "Misallocation Measures: The Distortion That Ate the Residual," NBER Working Papers 24199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
    26. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Kevin Caves & Garth Frazer, 2015. "Identification Properties of Recent Production Function Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2411-2451, November.
    27. Nicolas Berman & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2012. "How do Different Exporters React to Exchange Rate Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 437-492.
    28. Morrow, John & Dhingra, Swati, 2019. "Monopolistic competition and optimum product diversity under firm heterogeneity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59226, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    29. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
    30. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    31. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2009. "On estimating firm-level production functions using proxy variables to control for unobservables," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 112-114, September.
    32. Chad Syverson, 2008. "Markets: Ready-Mixed Concrete," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 217-234, Winter.
    33. Swati Dhingra & John Morrow, 2019. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity under Firm Heterogeneity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 196-232.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nick Jacob & Giordano Mion, 2020. "The UK's Great Demand and Supply Recession," CESifo Working Paper Series 8755, CESifo.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jacob, Nicholas & Mion, Giordano, 2020. "The UK's Great Demand and Supply Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 15516, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Emanuele Forlani & Ralf Martin & Giordano Mion & Mirabelle Muûls, 2016. "Unraveling firms: Demand, productivity and markups heterogeneity," Working Paper Research 293, National Bank of Belgium.
    3. Weinberger, Ariel, 2020. "Markups and misallocation with evidence from exchange rate shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    4. Mauro Caselli & Arpita Chatterjee & Alan Woodland, 2017. "Multi-product exporters, variable markups and exchange rate fluctuations," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1130-1160, November.
    5. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Marijn Verschelde, 2018. "Nonparametric Production Analysis with Unobserved Heterogeneity in Productivity," Working Papers ECARES 2018-25, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Parenti, Mathieu & Ushchev, Philip & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2017. "Toward a theory of monopolistic competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 86-115.
    7. Florin Maican & Matilda Orth, 2017. "Productivity Dynamics and the Role of ‘Big-Box’ Entrants in Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 397-438, June.
    8. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 247-348, Elsevier.
    9. Gornig, Martin & Schiersch, Alexander, 2019. "Agglomeration economies and firm TFP: different effects across industries," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203597, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Frederic Warzynski, 2016. "International trade and firm-level markups when location and quality matter," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-91.
    11. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Marijn Verschelde, 2018. "Nonparametric identification of unobserved technological heterogeneity in production," Working Paper Research 335, National Bank of Belgium.
    12. Békés, Gábor & Harasztosi, Péter, 2013. "Agglomeration premium and trading activity of firms," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 51-64.
    13. Daniela Puggioni, 2019. "Productivity, Markups, and Trade: Evidence from Mexican Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 2019-14, Banco de México.
    14. Axel Demenet & Quynh Hoang, 2018. "How important are management practices for the productivity of small and medium enterprises?," WIDER Working Paper Series 69, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Kiyota, Kozo & Mairesse, Jacques, 2015. "Product and labor market imperfections and scale economies: Micro-evidence on France, Japan and the Netherlands," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 290-322.
    16. Nocco, Antonella & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Salto, Matteo, 2019. "Geography, competition, and optimal multilateral trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 145-161.
    17. Rizov, Marian & Oskam, Arie & Walsh, Paul, 2012. "Is there a limit to agglomeration? Evidence from productivity of Dutch firms," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 595-606.
    18. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2010. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 15-66, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2016. "Prices, Markups, and Trade Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 445-510, March.
    20. Robert Kulick, 2017. "Ready-to-Mix: Horizontal Mergers, Prices, and Productivity," Working Papers 17-38, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    total factor productivity (TFP); density; agglomeration externalities; revenue-based TFP; prices; demand; quality;
    All these keywords.

    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)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:108436. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: LSERO Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.