Industrial Clusters in the Long Run: Evidence from Million-Rouble Plants in China
77 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019
Date Written: 2019
This paper exploits a short-lived cooperation program between the U.S.S.R. and China, which led to the construction of 156 "Million-Rouble plants" in the 1950s. We isolate exogenous variation in location decisions due to the relative position of allied and enemy airbases and study the long-run impact of these factories on local economic activity. While the "156" program accelerated industrialization in treated counties until the end of the command-economy era, this significant productivity advantage fully eroded in the subsequent period. We explore the nature of local spillovers responsible for this pattern, and provide evidence that treated counties are overspecialized and far less innovative. There is a large concentration of establishments along the production chain of the Million-Rouble plants, which limits technological spillovers across industries.
Keywords: industrial clusters, agglomeration economies, specialization
JEL Classification: R110, R530, J240, N950
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation