International Journal of Economic Issues vol:3 issue:2 pages:199-222
International Journal of Economic Issues
This paper focuses on the importance of market access for firms’ location decisions. I estimate a structural parameters equation, a spatial wage and a spatial employment equation for Belgium, in line with the work of Hanson (1998, 2005) for the US, Mion (2004) for Italy, Garcia Pires (2006) and Paluzie et al (2009) for Spain and Brakman, Garretsen and Schramm (2002, 2004) and Roos (2001) for Germany. The findings suggest that linkages between firms and consumers are important for location decisions, as predicted by the New Economic Geography developed by (Krugman (1991)). However, conducting an Analysis of Variance on the estimation results, I conclude that firm-consumer linkages remain complementary with respect to other location theories. The last contribution of the paper is the estimation of spatial employment equations at regional and sectoral level. Firm-consumer linkages appear more important for the Northern than for the Southern part of Belgium while they turn out to be equally important for the service and manufacturing sector.