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The presentation on the importance of corporate headquarters is in part based on the paper 'Why and Where do Headquarters Move?'

Detail Summary
Date 17 October 2006


This paper analyzes decisions regarding the location of headquarters in the U.S. for the period 1996-2001. Using a unique firm-level database of about 30,000 U.S. headquarters, we study the firm- and location-specific characteristics of headquarters that relocated over that period. Headquarters are concentrated, increasingly so in medium-sized service-oriented metropolitan areas, and the rate of relocation is significant (5% a year). Larger (in terms of sales) and younger headquarters tend to relocate more often, as well as larger (in terms of the number of headquarters) and foreign firms, and firms that are the outcome of a merger. Headquarters relocate to metropolitan areas with good airport facilities-with a dramatic impact, low corporate taxes, low average wages, high level of business services, same industry specialization, and agglomeration of headquarters in the same sector of activity-with all agglomeration variables having an important and significant impact.

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