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Testing for localization using micro-geographic data

  • Gilles Duranton
  • Henry G. Overman

To study the detailed location patterns of industries, and particularly the tendency for industries to cluster relative to overall manufacturing, 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) 52% of them are localised at a 5% confidence level, (ii) localisation mostly takes place 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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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/581/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 581.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies, October, 2005, 72(4), pp. 1077-1106. ISSN: 1467-937X
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:581
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  6. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
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