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DOI:10.1068/a31202 Agglomeration and firm performance: economies of scale, localisation, and urbanisation among Swedish export firms

By Anders Malmberg and Bo Malmberg


Abstract. In the 1990s, there has been an increase in interest in the spatial agglomeration of similar and related firms and industries. The recent literature is, however, marked by a lack of balance between theoretical development and empirical validation of the importance of agglomeration economies. Our aim in this paper is to redress the balance by assessing empirically the impact of various types of agglomeration economies on export performance. Our study is based on a unique data set including all Swedish export firms. We find that localisation economies are not as important as recent theoretical contributions on industrial districts, new industrial spaces, and innovative milieus have led us to believe. Instead, traditional scale economies, together with urbanisation economies, have a larger effect on export performance.

Year: 1998
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