Agglomeration economies and productivity differences in US cities

David L. Rigby, Jürgen Essletzbichler

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Plant‐level data from the Longitudinal Research Database of the US Bureau of the Census are employed to estimate the impact of agglomeration economies on industry productivity across US metropolitan areas. This analysis seeks to remedy three shortcomings of previous empirical studies of agglomeration economies: reliance on aggregate spatial or sectoral data; lack of attention to spatial dependence in data; and representation of agglomeration economies with vague proxies such as city‐size. We show how a number of establishment‐, industry‐, and city‐specific factors influence labor productivity across US cities, and we pay particular attention to separating the influence of different kinds of agglomeration economies on firm efficiency. Here we follow Marshall's Principles of Economics in examining the spatial concentration of input–output linkages, the character of local labor pools and embodied technological spillovers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407 - 432
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 507026 Economic geography

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