Abstract

This paper investigates the changing geographical pattern of manufacturing industries in Japan between 1985 and 1995 and explores factors of their geographic concentration. A regression analysis is conducted to test some hypotheses that are derived directly from early models of the New Economic Geography (NEG). Regression results indicate that the geographic concentration of Japanese manufacturing industries seems to be determined by some combination of internal economies of scale, transportation costs, and factor intensity. However, inter-industry linkages are found to be an insignificant factor of geographic concentration. As posited by the NEG theories, Japanese manufacturing industries with larger internal economies of scale and smaller unit transportation costs tend to have a higher level of geographic concentration. Japanese manufacturing data also support the Heckscher-Ohlin theory: labor- or capital-intensive industries tend to have a higher level of geographic concentration.