Business clusters in Mississippi's forest products industry
Hagadone, Todd A. | Grala, Robert K.
Spatial analysis of forest products manufacturer location allows for identifying potential forest business clusters and outlining areas suitable for cluster-based economic development. Mississippi can benefit from such development because of a strong presence of the forest industry. This study utilized an average nearest neighbor and a cluster and outlier analyses to examine spatial distribution of Mississippi's primary and secondary forest products manufacturers and identify potential forest business clusters. A Poisson regression was used to examine the impact of transportation infrastructure, labor, and availability of raw materials on location of these manufacturers. The results of the spatial analysis indicated that Mississippi's forest products manufacturers tended to cluster and identified four potential forest business clusters. They included one cluster of 26 primary forest products manufacturers in Southwest Mississippi, two clusters consisting of six and 58 secondary forest products manufacturers in Northeast Mississippi, and one cluster of 78 primary and secondary forest products manufacturers in Northeast Mississippi. The regression analysis indicated that county-level volume of harvested sawlogs had a positive impact on location of primary and secondary forest products manufacturers, whereas volume of harvested pulpwood had a positive impact on location of only secondary forest products manufacturers. Presence of four-lane interstate highways was associated with a decreased number of secondary manufacturers, whereas the presence of railway increased their number by almost 1.50 times. The number of existing primary manufacturers in a county had a positive impact on location of secondary manufacturers and increased their number by 1.12 times. Available labor force also had a positive but relatively small impact on location of secondary forest products manufacturers.Show more [+] Less [-]