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Is industrial agglomeration increasing? New evidence from a small open economy

Andrew James Crawley (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Stephen Hill (Business Faculty, Sohar University, Sohar, Sultanate of Oman)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 1 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine changes in manufacturing agglomeration in a small open economy over the last decade. This is done during a time when manufacturing in most developed countries is in relative decline.


This work adapts the methodology developed by De Propris to measure the relative level of manufacturing agglomeration across space and time. It combines different measures utilising the location quotient technique, thereby allowing the relative strengths of manufacturing in different areas to be compared with the national (UK) level. The work goes further by also calculating the EG index to compare the levels of concentration and specialisation.


This research shows that manufacturing agglomeration has increased in Wales at a time when manufacturing employment is decreasing. Concentration and specialisation have continued to increase across the last decade despite manufacturing's steady decline.


This work details for the first time the relative intensity of agglomeration across space and time in a small open economy. This is often neglected in other economic “cluster” work but may be key to understanding economic development in the twenty‐first century.



Crawley, A.J. and Hill, S. (2011), "Is industrial agglomeration increasing? New evidence from a small open economy", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 725-740.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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