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Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Clusters, 1908-1915

Yutaka Arimoto, Kentaro Nakajima () and Tetsuji Okazaki

No 7, PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series from Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Abstract: We examine two sources of productivity improvement in the specialized industrial clusters of the early twentieth century Japanese silk-reeling industry. Agglomeration improves the productivity of each plant through positive externalities, shifting plant-level productivity distribution to the right. Selection expels less productive plants through competition, truncating distribution on the left. We find no evidence confirming a right shift in the distribution in clusters or that agglomeration promotes faster productivity growth. Rather, the distribution in clusters was severely left truncated, even for younger plants. These findings imply that the plant-selection effect was the source of higher productivity in the Japanese silk-reeling clusters.

Keywords: Economic geography; Heterogenous firms; Industrial clusters; Productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R12 O18 L10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-geo, nep-his and nep-ure
Date: 2011-02
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http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/18972/1/No7-dp_10_07.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Clusters, 1908-1915 (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Productivity Improvement in the Specialized Industrial Clusters: The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Industry (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-reeling Industry, 1909-1916 (2010) Downloads
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