Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp
Ryohei Nakamura and Catherine J. Morrison Paul 16.1 Introduction The existence of agglomeration economies is crucial both for explaining the size and distribution of modern cities and for understanding their growth and development. Agglomeration economies are also important policy issues for regional municipalities and national governments, because they engender industrial clustering. Academic studies of regional clustering typically focus on measuring the extent of agglomeration and its associated economies, or determining the mechanisms underlying, and the eﬀects of, agglomeration economies. In this chapter we will focus on the former, with some overview of the latter. Before discussing the measurement of agglomeration, it is necessary to deﬁne economic agglomeration. The term ‘agglomeration’ is often used interchangeably with ‘specialization’ or ‘concentration’. Brülhart (1998, p. 776), however, suggests that specialization and agglomeration involve immobile and mobile factors, respectively.1 That is, specialization refers to industrial composition in a speciﬁc region in which some industries are agglomerated compared to their national counterparts, which is a relative rather than an absolute measurement of agglomeration. In turn, agglomeration typically refers to spatial concentration of economic activity in a limited area, while (spatial) concentration often applies to the spatial distribution of speciﬁc industries. For example, the food industry is relatively evenly distributed among regions while the textile industry tends to be concentrated in particular regions.2 In this chapter we will consider agglomeration to be inclusive of both specialization and concentration. We will focus on the measurement of economic agglomeration in the context of the...
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