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Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes

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  • William R. Kerr
  • Scott Duke Kominers

Abstract

We model spatial clusters of similar firms. Our model highlights how agglomerative forces lead to localized, individual connections among firms, while interaction costs generate a defined distance over which attraction forces operate. Overlapping firm interactions yield agglomeration clusters that are much larger than the underlying agglomerative forces themselves. Empirically, we demonstrate that our model's assumptions are present in the structure of technology and labor flows within Silicon Valley and its surrounding areas. Our model further identifies how the lengths over which agglomerative forces operate influence the shapes and sizes of industrial clusters; we confirm these predictions using variations across both technology clusters and industry agglomeration.

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Kerr & Scott Duke Kominers, 2010. "Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes," NBER Working Papers 16639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16639
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    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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