A Long-Run Perspective on the Spatial Concentration of Manufacturing Industries in the United States

36 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2017

See all articles by Nicholas Crafts

Nicholas Crafts

University of Warwick

Alexander Klein

University of Kent - Canterbury Campus

Date Written: August 2017

Abstract

We construct spatially-weighted indices of the geographic concentration of U.S. manufacturing industries during the period 1880 to 1997 using data from the Census of Manufactures and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Several important new results emerge from this exercise. First, we find that average spatial concentration was much lower in the late-20th- than the late-19th century and that this was the outcome of a continuing reduction over time. Second, the persistent tendency to greater spatial dispersion was characteristic of most manufacturing industries. Third, even so, economically and statistically significant spatial concentration was pervasive throughout this period.

Keywords: manufacturing belt, spatial concentration, transport costs

JEL Classification: N62, N92, R12

Suggested Citation

Crafts, Nicholas and Klein, Alexander, A Long-Run Perspective on the Spatial Concentration of Manufacturing Industries in the United States (August 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12257. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3031894

Nicholas Crafts (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Alexander Klein

University of Kent - Canterbury Campus ( email )

Keynes College
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

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