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Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach

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  • Glenn Ellison
  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

This paper discusses the prevalence of Silicon Valley-style localizations of individual manufacturing industries in the United States. Several models in which firms choose locations by throwing darts at a map are used to test whether the degree of localization is greater than would be expected to arise randomly and to motivate a new index of geographic concentration. The proposed index controls for differences in the size distribution of plants and for differences in the size of the geographic areas for which data is available. As a consequence, comparisons of the degree of geographic concentration across industries can be made with more confidence. We reaffirm previous observations in finding that almost all industries are localized, although the degree of localization appears to be slight in about half of the industries in our sample. We explore the nature of agglomerative forces in describing patterns of concentration, the geographic scope of localization, and the extent to which agglomerations involve plants in similar as opposed to identical industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," NBER Working Papers 4840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4840
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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