Firm migration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Due to changes in markets, consumer preferences, environmental regulations, technological progress and so on, firms are constantly adjusting to new situations. This process very often also has a spatial dimension. Characteristics of the spatial environment of a firm may change over time, but internal changes in addition may lead to other locational preferences. Firm migration is a particular form of locational adjustment. Here, we define it as a firm’s change of address from location A to location B. This definition is most suited for small and medium-sized single-plant firms, but less so for multiplant firms and large enterprises. A very simple case is that of a growing firm facing the problem that the present building is too small to host all its activities. Moving to another building is then an obvious solution. For large enterprises locational adjustment usually involves the restructuring of the spatial layout of activities that are spread out over multiple locations. These complex events can only partially be labelled as migration. Often, the migration component is but one element in a mix that also includes closing down, merging and splitting off business units of the enterprise. All these events are taken into account in a demographic approach to firm dynamics that has gained popularity in recent years (Van Dijk and Pellenbarg, 2000a). This approach, which is studied by geographers, sociologists and economists, is called, variously, industrial demography,...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndustrial Location Economics
EditorsP. McCann
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)9781781950746
ISBN (Print)9781840646726
Publication statusPublished - 27-Aug-2002


  • economics and finance
  • industrial economics
  • regional economics
  • geography
  • economic geography
  • urban and regional studies

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