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Geography, Productivity and Trade: Does Selection Explain Why Some Locations Are More Productive than Others?

  • Antonio Accetturo

    (Bank of Italy, Italy)

  • Valter Di Giacinto

    (Bank of Italy, Italy)

  • Giacinto Micucci

    (Bank of Italy, Italy)

  • Marcello Pagnini

    (Bank of Italy, Italy)

Two main hypotheses are usually put forward to explain the productivity advantages of larger cities: agglomeration economies and firm selection. Combes et al. (2012) propose an empirical approach to disentangle these two effects and fail to find any impact of selection on local productivity differences. We theoretically show that selection effects do emerge when asymmetric trade and entry costs and different spatial scale at which agglomeration and selection may work are properly taken into account. The empirical findings confirm that agglomeration effects play a major role. However, they also show a substantial increase in the importance of the selection effect when asymmetric trade costs and a different spatial scale are taken into account.

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Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 24_13.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:24_13
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  1. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
  2. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Tissse, 1999. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-65, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. Andrew Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2004. "Comparative advantage and heterogeneous firms," IFS Working Papers W04/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent & Puga, Diego & Roux, Sébastien, 2009. "The productivity advantages of large cities: Distinguishing agglomeration from firm selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 7191, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 29 Sep 2005.
  8. Arimoto, Yutaka & Nakajima, Kentaro & Okazaki, Tetsuji, 2011. "Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Clusters, 1908-1915," CEI Working Paper Series 2010-11, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Massimo Del Gatto & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Marcello Pagnini, 2008. "Openness To Trade And Industry Cost Dispersion: Evidence From A Panel Of Italian Firms," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 97-129.
  10. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Spatial Selection and Sorting," NBER Working Papers 11650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Finicelli, Andrea & Pagano, Patrizio & Sbracia, Massimo, 2013. "Ricardian selection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 96-109.
  17. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity... for Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099, August.
  18. Okubo, Toshihiro & Picard, Pierre M & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2008. "The Spatial Selection of Heterogeneous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Marcello Pagnini & Valter Di Giacinto & Giacinto Micucci & Matteo Gomellini, 2011. "Mapping Local Productivity Advantages In Italy: Industrial Districts, Cities Or Both?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1806, European Regional Science Association.
  20. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
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  22. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
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