Three essays on firm heterogeneity and regional development Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2j62s794r

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  • The objective of this dissertation is to theoretically and empirically examine the role of firm heterogeneity in terms of productivity and skill-intensity in the agglomeration process and the effect of agglomeration on regional economic development. In the first essay, I analyze the effect of trade liberalization on agglomeration of high- and low-productivity firms and the consequences for regional economic development. By extending a new-economic-geography model, I find that competition, domestic and international, disperses low-productivity firms to less-developed regions. Trading with advanced countries also appears to bring about dispersion of economic activity. However, attempts by less-developed regions to provide monetary incentives are less likely to attract high-productivity firms. In the second essay, I empirically test the hypothesis that high-productivity (exporting) plants in Chile self-select to locate in large markets. Plants’ raw productivity, i.e., productivity independent of agglomeration economies, is computed to obtain regional productivity-distribution measures. I find that high-productivity (exporting) plants indeed locate in a region where other plants in the same industry agglomerate, industrial structure is diversified and market size is large. Finally, plants’ self-selection outweighs the contribution of agglomeration economies in increasing a region’s productivity. In the third essay, I identify the mechanism by which human-capital spillovers occur at the plant-level and examine the relationship between spillovers and agglomeration of high skill-intensive plants in Chile. I employ plant-level production functions incorporating the absorptive capacity hypothesis, i.e., high skill-intensive plants benefit more from human-capital spillovers than others. Empirically, in 5 out of 8 manufacturing industries, the benefit from spillovers is larger in high skill-intensive plants. Plant entry and exit are also affected by spillovers resulting in regional skill disparities. The results of the three essays reveal locational preferences of various types of firms. Policy options for economic development through increases in regional productivity include specializing in targeted industry, diversifying regional industrial structure, enlarging the market size and workforce education. The results of this dissertation help local governments to evaluate of the benefits from each policy option, which when compared with their knowledge of costs, aid in the selection of an effective policy to improve regional well-being.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Hisamitsu Saito (saitoh@onid.orst.edu) on 2008-03-25 No. of bitstreams: 1 Saito_dissertation.pdf: 909346 bytes, checksum: 139cceecd3a045c05dbb67884bd8c042 (MD5)
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