Industrial location processes. The east midlands in the post-war period.
thesisposted on 2015-11-19, 08:54 authored by Graham Harold. Gudgin
This study has aimed to make a broad examination of the explaration of industrial location patterns and employment change. The first section argues that the classical approach based on considerations of cost variations over space is inapplicable for most industries at the British scale. Available information is analysed to show that extreme variations in costs of production and distribution are likely to amount to only two or three per cent of total income. This degree of variability is strongly dependent on labour productivity which, at least in part, depends on the firm itself rather than on the location. Moreover, this variability is less than the average level of profits in most inqustries, and it, is consequently asserted that, except in a few heavy industries, margins to viable production do not exist at the British scale. The bulk of the study examines alternative explanations of industrial location. Since a lack of economic pressure on location implies the increased importance of entrepreneurial and managerial decisions, the latter become the focus of attention. Location behaviour is examined within five categories, or processes, i.e. the initial location of new firms, the growth of firms, closure, the establishment of branch plants and the relocation of firms. It is shown that new firms are located in the founder's home area and in a trade in which he is experienced. This process provides a major mechanism for the preserving of spatial structure of manufacturing. Growth is shown to be very variable between firms and surprisingly little influenced by industrial structure. Both entry rates and closure show significant spatial variation in contrast to growth rates. The final part of the study applies the knowledge of location processes to the explantion of industrial change in the postwar East Midlands. It is shown that a considerable turnover of firms and establishments occurs, with about half the initial population closing over a twenty year period, and being replaced by a similar number of new establishments. Existing firms and new local firms generate over eighty per cent of new employment, and only a small proportion results from the movement of establishments from other areas.
Date of award1974-01-01
Awarding institutionUniversity of Leicester