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Abstract

This paper examines labour productivity in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, using microdata from Statistics New Zealand’s Prototype Longitudinal Business Database. It documents a sizeable productivity premium in Auckland, around half of which is due to industry composition. There is a cross sectional correlation between productivity and employment density, reflecting differences in both physical productivity and prices. This correlation is evident both within Auckland, and comparing Auckland with other areas. The relationship between changes in density and changes in productivity is less strong. The relationship between productivity and overall or own-industry employment density varies across industries, suggesting that the nature and extent of agglomeration benefits varies. Overall, localisation effects appear stronger than urbanisation, with productivity being more strongly related to own-industry density than to overall density.

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