经济学季刊2013-09-05 2:57 AM

Proximity and Investment: Evidence from Plant-Level Data

Abstract Proximity to plants makes it easier for headquarters to monitor and acquire information about plants. In this article, I estimate the effects of headquarters’ proximity to plants on plant-level investment and productivity. Using the introduction of new airline routes as a source of exogenous variation in proximity, I find that new airline routes that reduce the travel time between headquarters and plants lead to an increase in plant-level investment of 8% to 9% and an increase in plants’ total factor productivity of 1.3% to 1.4%. The results are robust when I control for local and firm-level shocks that could potentially drive the introduction of new airline routes, when I consider only new airline routes that are the outcome of a merger between two airlines or the opening of a new hub, and when I consider only indirect flights where either the last leg of the flight (involving the plant’s home airport) or the first leg of the flight (involving headquarters’ home airport) remains unchanged. Moreover, the results are stronger in the earlier years of the sample period and for firms whose headquarters is more time-constrained. In addition, they also hold at the extensive margin, that is, when I consider plant openings and closures. JEL Codes: D24, G31.

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