PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2007, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (2): 14-24.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2007.02.002

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Progr ess in Industr ial Agglomer ation Resear ch

ZHANG Hua1,2, LIANG Jinshe3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101,China|
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039,China|
    3. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2006-09-01 Revised:2007-02-01 Online:2007-03-25 Published:2007-03-25


The geographical clustering of manufacturing employments and establishments is pervasive. Companies and plants are not distributed uniformly in space, but rather agglomerate in some places. Industrial agglomeration has been a popular economic phenomenon all over the world and has been paid a lot of attentions to by scholars and government’s officials. Industrial agglomeration is one of the main issues of economic geography, regional economics and other related disciplines. In this paper, the progress of theories and empirical studies in industrial agglomeration research is reviewed. Marshall has pointed at three types of externalities: labor pooling, intermediate inputs and knowledge spillovers. Classical and neoclassical location theories emphasize the role of transportation costs, labor costs and demands in promoting industrial agglomeration. Neoclassical trade theories stress technology or resource endowments and comparative advantages. In new economic geography models, the distribution of economic activities is driven by the interaction of transportation costs and scale economies. Empirical studies on industrial agglomeration confirm that a variety of significant variables, including factor endowments, external economies, scale economies, transportation costs, market demands and other non- economic factors, influence the formation of industrial agglomeration.

Key words: agglomeration effect, externality, industrial agglomeration, scale economies