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Spatial Localization in Manufacturing: A Cross-Country Analysis

This paper employs a homogenous firms database to investigate industry localization in European countries. More specifically, we compare, across industries and countries, the predictions of two of the most popular localization indices, i.e., the Ellison and Glaeser index (Ellison and Glaeser, 1997) and the Duranton and Overman index (Duranton and Overman, 2005). We find that, independently from the index used, localization is a pervasive phenomenon in all countries studied, but the degree of localization is very uneven across industries in each country. Furthermore, we find that the two indices significantly diverge in predicting the intensity of the forces generating localization within each industry. Finally, we perform a crosssectoral analysis of localized industries. We show that, in all countries, localized sectors are mainly "traditional" sectors (like jewelery, wine, and textiles) and sectors where scale economies are important. However, once one controls for countries' industrial structures science-based sectors turn out to be the most localized ones.

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2009-07.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0907
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  1. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 1999. "The geographic distribution of production activity in the UK," IFS Working Papers W99/26, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  13. Davis, James C. & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2008. "The agglomeration of headquarters," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 445-460, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Henry G. Overman, 2003. "The spatial distribution of economic activities in the European Union," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20023, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Giulio Bottazzi & Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Angelo Secchi, 2007. "Modeling industrial evolution in geographical space," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 651-672, September.
  17. 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.
  18. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  19. G. P. I. Ottaviano, 1997. "Integration, Geography and the Burden of History," Working Papers 283, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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