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Local economic structure and growth

  • Almeida, Rita

The author tests how the local economic structure-measured by a region's sector specialization, competition, and diversity-affects the technological growth of manufacturing sectors. Most of the empirical literature on this topic assumes that in the long run more productive regions will attract more workers and use employment growth as a measure of local productivity growth. However, this approach is based on strong assumptions about national labor markets. The author shows that when these assumptions are relaxed, regional adjusted wage growth is a better measure of regional productivity growth than employment growth. She compares the two measures using data for Portugal between 1985 and 1994. With the regional adjusted wage growth, the author finds evidence of Marshall-Arrow-Romer (MAR) externalities in some sectors and no evidence of Jacobs or Porter externalities in most of the manufacturing sectors. Theseresults are at odds with her findings for employment-based regressions, which show that concentration and region size have a negative and significant effect in most of the manufacturing sectors. These employment-based results are in line with most of the existing literature, which suggests that using employment growth to proxy for productivity growth leads to misleading results.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3728.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3728
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  1. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  2. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-90, October.
  3. Federico Cingano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Identifying the Sources of Local Productivity Growth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 474, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 347-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  10. de Lucio, Juan J. & Herce, Jose A. & Goicolea, Ana, 2002. "The effects of externalities on productivity growth in Spanish industry," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 241-258, March.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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