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CEP Discussion Paper
The Spatial Distribution of Economic Activities in the European Union
Pierre-Philippe Combes and Henry Overman
October 2003
Paper No' CEPDP0587:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: F14; F15; R12

Tags: location; european union; descriptive statistics; empirical studies

Abstract This paper considers the spatial distribution of economic activities in the European Union. It has three main aims. (i) To describe the data that is available in the EU and give some idea of the rich spatial data sets that are fast becoming available at the national level. (ii) To present descriptive evidence on the location of aggregate activity and particular industries and to consider how these location patterns are changing over time. (iii) To consider the nature of the agglomeration and dispersion forces that determine these patterns and to contrast them to forces acting elsewhere, in particular the US. Our survey suggests that much has been achieved in the wave of empirical work that has occurred in the past decade, but that much work remains to be done.