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Market Size, Linkages, and Productivity: A Study of Japanese Regions

  • Donald R. Davis
  • David E. Weinstein

One account of spatial concentration focuses on productivity advantages arising from market size. We investigate this for forty regions of Japan. Our results identify important effects of a region's own size, as well as cost linkages between producers and suppliers of inputs. Productivity links to a more general form of 'market potential' or Marshall-Arrow-Romer externalities do not appear to be robust in our data. Landlocked status does not matter for productivity of regions in Japan. The effects we identify are economically quite important, accounting for a substantial portion of cross-regional productivity differences. A simple counterfactual shows that if economic activity were spread evenly over the forty regions of Japan, aggregate output would fall by nearly twenty percent.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8518.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8518.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
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Publication status: published as Kanbur, Ravi and Anthony Venables (eds.) Spatial Inequality and Development. Oxford: Oxford U. Pr., 2005.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8518
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  1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  9. Krugman, Paul R & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-80, November.
  10. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
  11. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  13. Sveikauskas, Leo A, 1975. "The Productivity of Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 393-413, August.
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  15. Ethier, Wilfred, 1979. "Internationally decreasing costs and world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, February.
  16. Robert Kaestner & Theodore Joyce & Andrew Racine, 1999. "Does Publicly Provided Health Insurance Improve the Health of Low-Income Children in the United States," NBER Working Papers 6887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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