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Spatial Density and Productivity – an analysis on one-by-one kilometer squares

  • Andersson, Martin

    ()

    (CIRCLE, Lund University and BTH)

  • Klaesson, Johan

    ()

    (CENSE, Jönköping International Business School)

  • P Larsson, Johan

    ()

    (CENSE, Jönköping International Business School)

This paper reassesses the relationship between density and productivity by using detailed geo-coded data on wages and employment in Sweden. The contribution is empirical and builds on an analysis of spatial units of exactly the same size in terms of geographic surface. The data divide Sweden into areas of one square kilometer, and describe each area in terms of wages, worker characteristics and industry structure. Since the geographic areas are of constant size, the sheer number of employees in an area is an ‘exact’ measure of employment density. We find a significant relationship between density and productivity across squares. The estimated elasticity is in the 9-10 percent interval, and is insensitive to whether we employ a standard OLS estimator or a panel fixed effects estimator. Neighbor characteristics also matter in ways consistent with the idea of positive agglomeration externalities, where a location in a square with high density neighbors reflects proximity to (or a location in) a larger agglomeration. Moreover, the estimated relationship between productivity and density is insensitive to the chosen spatial scale.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 255.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 25 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0255
Contact details of provider: Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
Web page: http://www.infra.kth.se/cesis/

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  1. Anas, Alex & Arnott, Richard & Small, Kenneth A., 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt835049q3, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. Ragnar Tveteras & George E. Battese, 2006. "Agglomeration Externalities, Productivity, And Technical Inefficiency," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 605-625.
  3. Henri L.F. de Groot & Jacques Poot & Martijn J. Smit, 2008. "Agglomeration Externalities, Innovation and Regional Growth: Theoretical Perspectives and Meta-Analysis," Working Papers in Economics 08/01, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  4. Burger, M.J. & van Oort, F.G. & van der Knaap, G.A., 2008. "A Treatise on the Geographical Scale of Agglomeration Externalities and the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-076-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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