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The Economic Microgeography of Diversity and Specialization

Author

Listed:
  • Andersson, Martin

    () (Blekinge Institute of Technology)

  • Larsson, Johan P.

    () (Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum)

  • Wernberg, Joakim

    () (CIRCLE)

Abstract

As cities increasingly become centers of economic growth and innovation, there is a need to understand their inner workings and organization in greater detail. We use ge-coded firm-level panel data at the sub-city level to assess the long-standing question whether agglomeration economies derive from specialization (within-industry) or diversity (between-industry). We show that these two types of externalities co-exist, but differ in their spatial distribution and attenuation within cities. There are robust positive effects of diversity and specialization on firms’ TFP growth at the local within-city neighborhood level, especially for firms in high-tech and knowledge-intensive activities. While specialization effects are bound to the local sub-city level, we demonstrate a positive effect of overall diversity also at the city-wide level. The results resonate with the idea that urban economies provide a mix of industrial diversity and specialisation. A location in a within-city industry cluster in a diversified, large city appears to let firms enjoy the benefits of local industry-specific externalities, while reaping the general city-wide benefits of a diversified city.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson, Martin & Larsson, Johan P. & Wernberg, Joakim, 2017. "The Economic Microgeography of Diversity and Specialization," Working Paper Series 1167, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1167
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Diversity; Specialization; Externalities; Knowledge spillovers; Attenuation; Agglomeration economies; Geocoding;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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