Firm exit and spatial agglomeration. Evidence on the resilience of Italian provinces
The paper investigates the effect of spatial agglomeration on firm exit. In particular, the role of specialization and local variety in production is addressed. The extent to which industrial clusters can be actually retained industrial districts is also considered. Empirical evidence is provided for a large panel of Italian provinces and manufacturing sectors over the period 1995-2007. Urbanization economies significantly diminish firm exit of industries at the local level. Specialization also does, but only up to a certain level. Firm exit is also reduced by industrial variety, even far from the local specialization core. Industrial districts, instead, are neither less nor more resilient to industrial dynamics, unless variety is controlled for.
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