IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Productivity Advantages of Large Cities: Distinguishing Agglomeration from Firm Selection

  • Combes, Pierre-Philippe

    ()

    (GATE, University of Lyon)

  • Duranton, Gilles

    ()

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Gobillon, Laurent

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Puga, Diego

    ()

    (IMDEA)

  • Roux, Sébastien

    ()

    (CREST-INSEE)

Firms are more productive on average in larger cities. Two main explanations have been offered: firm selection (larger cities toughen competition, allowing only the most productive to survive) and agglomeration economies (larger cities promote interactions that increase productivity), possibly reinforced by localised natural advantage. To distinguish between them, we nest a generalised version of a tractable firm selection model and a standard model of agglomeration. Stronger selection in larger cities left-truncates the productivity distribution whereas stronger agglomeration right-shifts and dilates the distribution. Using this prediction, French establishment level data, and a new quantile approach, we show that firm selection cannot explain spatial productivity differences. This result holds across sectors, city size thresholds, establishment samples, and area definitions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6502.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6502.

as
in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Econometrica, 2012, 80 (6), 2543-2594
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6502
Contact details of provider: Postal:
IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Massimo Del Gatto & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Marcello Pagnini, 2008. "Openness To Trade And Industry Cost Dispersion: Evidence From A Panel Of Italian Firms," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 97-129.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Giles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2003. "Micro-Foundations of Urban Agglomeration Economies," NBER Working Papers 9931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christian Broda & Ephraim Leibtag & David E. Weinstein, 2009. "The Role of Prices in Measuring the Poor's Living Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 77-97, Spring.
  9. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2000. "Quantifying Quality Growth," NBER Working Papers 7695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation and the Life-Cycle of Products," CEP Discussion Papers dp0445, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Del Gatto, Massimo & Mion, Giordano & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2006. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 5730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2008. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies With History, Geology, And Worker Effects," Working Papers halshs-00347451, HAL.
  14. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  15. Kristian Behrens & Gilles Duranton & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2014. "Productive Cities: Sorting, Selection, and Agglomeration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 507 - 553.
  16. Xavier Boutin & Simon Quantin, 2008. "Une méthodologie d'évaluation comptable du coût du capital des entreprises françaises (1984-2002)," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 413(1), pages 47-64.
  17. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Leo Sveikauskas, 1975. "The Productivity of Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(3), pages 393-413.
  19. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  20. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Externalities and Industrial Development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 449-470, November.
  21. Jan De Loecker, 2007. "Product Differentiation, Multi-product Firms and Estimating the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 13155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Allan Collard-Wexler, 2010. "Productivity Dispersion and Plant Selection in the Ready-Mix Concrete Industry," 2010 Meeting Papers 105, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2008. "Spatial Wage Disparities: Sorting Matters!," Post-Print halshs-00754296, HAL.
  24. 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.
  25. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," NBER Working Papers 11555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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.
  28. Carrasco, Marine & Florens, Jean-Pierre, 2000. "Generalization Of Gmm To A Continuum Of Moment Conditions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(06), pages 797-834, December.
  29. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  30. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," Post-Print hal-01027789, HAL.
  31. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  32. Nina Pavcnik, 2000. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," NBER Working Papers 7852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Glaeser, Edward L. (ed.), 2010. "Agglomeration Economics," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226297897.
  34. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  35. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  36. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Product Quality and Market Size," NBER Working Papers 9675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Roger Betancourt & David Gautschi, 1996. "An international comparison of the determinants of retail gross margins," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 173-189, June.
  38. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  39. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  40. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  41. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  42. Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Dan Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number corr05-1, September.
  43. T. Chaney & D. Sraer & D. Thesmar, 2007. "Collateral Value and Corporate Investment: Evidence from the French Real Estate Market," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2007-08, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  44. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1996. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," NBER Working Papers 5626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6502. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.