Technological catch-up and geographic proximity

Rachel Griffith, Stephen Redding, Helen Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This paper examines productivity catch-up as a source of establishment productivity growth. We present evidence that, other things equal, establishments further behind the industry frontier experience faster rates of productivity growth. Geographic proximity to frontier firms makes catch-up faster. Our econometric specification implies a long-run relationship between productivity levels, where nonfrontier establishments lie a steady-state distance behind the frontier such that their rate of productivity growth including catch-up equals productivity growth at the frontier. We use our econometric estimates to quantify the implied contribution to productivity growth of catch-up to both the national and regional productivity frontiers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-720
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Regional Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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