Spatial agglomeration and firms exit: a spatial dynamic analysis for Italian provinces

The paper investigates the effect of spatial agglomeration on firm exit in a dynamic framework. Using a large dataset at the industry-province level for Italy (1998–2007), we estimate a spatial dynamic panel model via a GMM estimator and analyze the short-run impact of specialization and variety on firm exit. Specialization negatively affects firm exit rates in the short-run. The effect is particularly significant for low-tech firms. The impact of variety on firm mortality rates at the industry level is instead less clear, although still negative and significant for low-tech firms.