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Inter-regional corporate ownership and regional autonomy: the case of Switzerland

By using a unique database on the ownership relations of Swiss firms, this article proposes a study of specific regional characteristics in that it reveals the way in which ownership is structured. The paper clearly highlights the different ways that regions behave regarding their involvement in these ownership structures, on a national and international level. The types of behaviour can be associated with the various economic specialisations of Switzerland’s regions. Firstly, it appears that the most frequent ownership links occur among firms within the same Regional Production System. It is then noted that the links between the Swiss regions are far less numerous than international links. The international links, by their number and their distribution throughout Switzerland, constitute the main source of discrimination between the regions. The financial region of Zurich masters this ownership issue most competently. It is the most autonomous region in that it is able to maintain control over its economy, to become highly involved in other spaces, and attract the most investments. It would appear that the regions that are the best integrated within the network are those that have been best able to take advantage of the evolution of the Swiss financial system. The low density of the links between the various Swiss regions suggests that these regions organise their relations on scales that are different to that of the nation. This clearly raises questions regarding the policies based on the principle that the growth of the main centres affects the rest of the country positively.

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Paper provided by GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel in its series GRET Publications and Working Papers with number 11-05.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Publication status: Published in The Annals of Regional Science, November 2005, Volume 39, Number 4, Pages 663-689
Handle: RePEc:nct:wpaper:11-05
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  1. Frank Barry & Holger Gorg & Andrew Mcdowell, 2003. "Outward FDI and the Investment Development Path of a Late-industrializing Economy: Evidence from Ireland," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 341-349.
  2. Marco Bellandi, 2001. "Local development and embedded large firms," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 189-210, July.
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