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Heritage and Agglomeration: The Akron Tire Cluster Revisited

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  • Guido Buenstorf
  • Steven Klepper

Abstract

We use new data on the location and background of entrants into the U.S. tire industry to analyze the factors that caused the industry to be so regionally concentrated around Akron, Ohio, a small city with no particular advantages for tire production. We analyze the states where firms entered and for the Ohio entrants the counties where they originated and entered, and we conduct various analyses of how proximity to other tire firms and to demanders affected the longevity of tire producers. We also examine how the heritage of the Ohio entrants influenced their longevity. Our findings suggest that the Akron tire cluster grew primarily through a process of organizational reproduction and heredity rather than through agglomeration economies, as has been commonly posited by scholars of the industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Buenstorf & Steven Klepper, 2005. "Heritage and Agglomeration: The Akron Tire Cluster Revisited," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2005-08
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