Productivity growth in British manufacturing: spatial variation in the role of scale economies, technological growth and industrial structure

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This paper investigates the role of scale economies, technological growth and industrial structure in creating spatial variation in manufacturing labour and Total Factor (TFP) productivity in Britain. Separate estimates of a translog specification are presented for British manufacturing firms located in defined areas of the country over the period 1994-1998. The results show that TFP change due to scale economies and technological growth has been of much less important in influencing the output growth of manufacturing firms than input growth or industrial structure. Regarding the components of TFP, technological growth has been the dominant force at play. The analysis of average labour productivity identifies shifts to other factors of production and industrial structure as being the main determinants of change, scale economies appear to have had a marginal role. The results identify spatial patterns indicating that more favourable locational effects arise for firms in areas adjacent to large urban centres, rather than for those located within cities, on the extreme periphery of the urban hinterland, or in rural areas and smaller towns.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2001

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