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Spatial Relocation with Heterogeneous Firms and Heterogeneous Sectors

  • OKUBO Toshihiro
  • Rikard FORSLID

The present paper focuses on sorting as a mechanism behind the well-established fact that there is a central region productivity premium. Using a model of heterogeneous firms that can move between regions, Baldwin and Okubo (2006) show how more productive firms sort themselves to the large core region. We extend this model by introducing different capital intensities among firms and sectors. In accordance with empirical evidence, more productive firms are assumed to be more capital intensive. As a result, our model can produce sorting to the large regions from both ends of the productivity distribution. Firms with high capital intensity and high productivity, as well as firms with very low productivity and low capital intensity, tend to relocate to the core. We use region and sector productivity distributions from Japanese micro data to test the predictions of the model. Several sectors show patterns consistent with two-sided sorting, and roughly an equal number of sectors seem to primarily be driven by sorting and selection. We also find supportive evidence for our model prediction that two-sided sorting occurs in sectors with high capital intensity.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 10056.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:10056
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  1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Massimo Del Gatto & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Marcello Pagnini, 2007. "Openess to trade and industry cost dispersion: Evidence from a panel of Italian firms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 635, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Pierre Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Diego Puga & Sébastien Roux, 2009. "The productivity advantages of large cities: Distinguishing agglomeration from firm selection," Working Papers 2009-02, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 30 Nov 2010.
  4. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2006. "Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 323-346, June.
  5. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & TABUCHI , Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1553, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Toshihiro Okubo & Eiichi Tomiura, 2011. "Productivity distribution, firm heterogeneity, and agglomeration: Evidence from firm-level data," Discussion Paper Series DP2011-06, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  7. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1994. "Industrial Location and Public Infrastructure," CEPR Discussion Papers 909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Toshihiro Okubo & Pierre M. Picard & Jacques-François Thisse, 2008. "The spatial selection of heterogeneous firms," CREA Discussion Paper Series 08-16, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  9. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
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