Aglomerações industriais no Brasil: uma avaliação empírica sobre o crescimento das empresas

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Brito, Luiz Artur Ledur
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Since de 1990s, there has been a renewed interest about the heterogeneity of geographic distribution of industrial activities. This produced different forms of firm agglomerations, some of them specialized in particular products or similar items. This universal phenomenon, has been theoretically explained by operational and competitive gains resulting from the higher density of economic activity in such places, creating external economies, also named ‘positive externalities’. The theoretical arguments follow different paths. One approach points out to the pecuniary advantages in costs associated to environments presumed to be more dynamic, dense and diversified in economic terms. A different line of thought indicates positive effects taken from the regional specialization, emphasizing dynamic and technological outcomes. There is also the argument in favor of a systemic complex of horizontal and vertical relationships that instigate internal rivalry which foster general innovation and improvements. Some others call for attention on social and cultural aspects of the region, granting cooperative relationships among the firms and thus promoting common knowledge and refinements on techniques, processes and products. However, the empirical verification of such phenomenon is still fragile. Under such considerations, this research has three main objectives: (1) contribute to mapping the industrial agglomeration phenomenon in Brazil; (2) deepen the knowledge on growth of manufacturing firms in country; and (3) search for generic relations between growth and the agglomeration level that firms are embedded. Based on micro level data of Annual Industrial Research developed by IBGE, it evaluated the growth of 16.140 firms in 550 municipalities from south and southeast administrative regions, covering 91 different manufacturing activities. Results indicated a general picture of intense concentration of manufactures in Brazil. Firms’ idiosyncratic features are the most important class of factors determining their growth rates, seconded by the aspects related to the interaction between activity and local. Besides, it was identified that the locational quotient (LQ) (an agglomerations indicator of firms producing identical or very similar items) had a statistical positive relationship with growth rates.

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