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Skew productivity distributions and agglomeration: Evidence from plant-level data

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  • Toshihiro Okubo

    (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)

  • Eiichi Tomiura

    (Department of Economics, Yokohama National University)

Abstract

This paper empirically examines how the shapes of plant productivity distributions vary across regions based on Japan's manufacturing census. We focus on the skewness to examine the asymmetry by estimating the gamma distribution at the plant level. By linking the estimated shape parameters with economic geography variables, we find that the productivity distribution tends to be significantly left-skewed, especially in cores, regions with diversified industrial compositions, regions with weak market potential, and in agglomerated industries. These findings suggest that agglomeration economies are likely to accommodate heterogeneous plants with wide ranges of productivities.

Suggested Citation

  • Toshihiro Okubo & Eiichi Tomiura, 2012. "Skew productivity distributions and agglomeration: Evidence from plant-level data," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2012-020, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.
  • Handle: RePEc:kei:dpaper:2012-020
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    Cited by:

    1. Ito, Banri & Xu, Zhaoyuan & Yashiro, Naomitsu, 2015. "Does agglomeration promote internationalization of Chinese firms?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 109-121.
    2. KIYOTA Kozo & MATSUURA Toshiyuki & Lionel NESTA, 2016. "Understanding the Cross-country Productivity Gap of Exporters," Discussion papers 16019, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Igor Bagayev & Ronald B. Davies, 2017. "The Impact of Protection on Observed Productivity Distributions," Working Papers 201705, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Rutzer, Christian, 2014. "A Theory of Trade Liberalization and Innovations with Heterogeneous Firms," Working papers 2014/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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