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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. ARIMOTO Yutaka & NAKAJIMA Kentaro & OKAZAKI Tetsuji, 2010. "Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-reeling Industry, 1909-1916," Discussion papers 10003, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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  3. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga & Sebastien Roux, 2009. "The productivity advantages of large cities: Distinguishing agglomeration from firm selection," Working Papers tecipa-353, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. 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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  7. 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.
  8. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," NBER Working Papers 10501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Toshihiro Okubo & Pierre M. Picard & Jacques-François Thisse, 2008. "The spatial selection of heterogeneous firms," CREA Discussion Paper Series 08-16, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
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  13. 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.
  14. Del Gatto, Massimo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Pagnini, Marcello, 2007. "Openness to Trade and Industry Cost Dispersion: Evidence from a Panel of Italian Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  17. Andrea Finicelli & Patrizio Pagano & Massimo Sbracia, 2009. "Ricardian selection," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 728, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  18. Volker Nocke, 2003. "A Gap for Me: Entrepreneurs and Entry," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  19. Aeberhardt, Romain & Buono, Ines & Fadinger, Harald, 2014. "Learning, incomplete contracts and export dynamics: Theory and evidence from French firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 219-249.
  20. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  21. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2008. "The attenuation of human capital spillovers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 373-389, September.
  22. Fujita, Masahisa & Ogawa, Hideaki, 1982. "Multiple equilibria and structural transition of non-monocentric urban configurations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 161-196, May.
  23. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2010. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-level Productivity…For Some Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1051-1099.
  24. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
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