Influence of Location on Productivity: Manufacturing Technology in Rural and Urban Areas, The

Sheila A. Martin, Richard McHugh, Stanley R. Johnson
November 1991  [91-WP 83]

Policies to counter the growing discrepancy between economic opportunities in rural and urban areas have focused predominantly on expanding manufacturing in rural areas. Fundamental to the design of these strategies are the relative costs of production and productivity of manufacturing in rural and urban areas. This study aims to develop information that can be used to assess the productivity of manufacturing in rural and urban areas. Production functions are estimated in the meat products and household furniture industries to investigate selected aspects of the effect of rural, small urban, and metropolitan location on productivity. The results show that the effect of location on productivity varies with industry, size, and the timing of the entry of the establishment into the industry. While the analysis is specific to two industries, it suggests that development policies targeting manufacturing can be made more effective by focusing on industries and plants with characteristics that predispose them to the locations being supported.

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