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Concentration, agglomeration and the size of plants

  • Miren Lafourcade

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), IUT - Département "Gestion, Logistique et Transports" - Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne)

  • Giordano Mion

    (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique [FNRS])

This paper investigates whether the geographic distribution of manufacturing activities depends on the size of plants. Using Italian data we find, as in Kim (1995) and Holmes and Stevens (2002, 2004), that large plants are more concentrated than small plants. However, considering distance-based patterns via spatial auto-correlation, we find that small establishments actually exhibit a greater tendency to be located in adjacent areas. These apparently contradictory findings raise a measurement issue regarding co-location externalities, and suggest that large plants are more likely to cluster within narrow geographical units (concentration), while small establishments would rather co-locate within wider distance-based clusters (agglomeration). This picture is consistent with different size plants engaging in different transport-intensive activities.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00590572.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00590572
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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
  3. Duranton, Gilles & Overman, Henry G, 2002. "Testing for Localization Using Micro-Geographic Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 3379, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Holmes, Thomas J. & Stevens, John J., 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in North America," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 63, pages 2797-2843 Elsevier.
  8. Marcello Pagnini, 2003. "Misura e determinanti dell’agglomerazione spaziale nei comparti industriali in Italia," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 93(2), pages 149-, March-Apr.
  9. 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.
  10. Barrios, Salvador & Bertinelli, Luisito & Strobl, E. & Teixeira, Antonio-Carlos, 2005. "The dynamics of agglomeration: evidence from Ireland and Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 170-188, January.
  11. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
  12. Lafourcade, Miren & Mion, Giordano, 2007. "Concentration, agglomeration and the size of plants," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 46-68, January.
  13. Giuseppe Arbia, 2001. "articles: Modelling the geography of economic activities on a continuous space," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 80(4), pages 411-424.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Karen Helen Midelfart-Knarvik & Henry G. Overman & Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2002. "Integration and Industrial. Specialisation in the European Union," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 53(3), pages 469-481.
  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. 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.
  19. Antonio Ciccone, 1998. "Agglomeration-effects in Europe," Economics Working Papers 499, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 1999.
  20. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya & Henderson, J. Vernon & Kanemoto, Yoshitsugu, 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in Japan and China," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 65, pages 2911-2977 Elsevier.
  21. BARRIOS, Salvador & BERTINELLI, Luisito & STROBL, Eric, 2003. "Geographic concentration and establishment scale: can panel data tell us more ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2003036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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