Identifying Factors Relevant for Firms’ Location and Relocation. The Case of Ticino
Location and relocation decisions of firms are popular topics in regional economics, thanks to their importance from both a theoretical and practical point of view. In particular, relocation provides at the same time the best showcase of entrepreneurial decision-making with regard to location choice, and the ideal context to inspire goals for regional development policy (Van Dijk and Pellenbarg in Pap Reg Sci 79(2):191–219, 2000). Using data from an online survey, conducted with firms located in Ticino (the southern Canton of Switzerland), this chapter sheds light on a set of factors influencing location and relocation choices of firms, which are pointed out as important by the literature. The study aims to analyse the factors influencing the location attractiveness from a business point of view (such as institutional background, accessibility and competitive environment). In particular, the chapter proposes an approach which points out the weaknesses and strengths of the territory and, therefore, suggests regional strategies in order to promote location attractiveness and prevent firms from leaving. Results show institutional background being one of the major strengths of Ticino. Moreover, this chapter aims to increase the knowledge of the drivers of migration behaviour of firms. Indeed, in contrast to location studies, relocation explicitly takes into account the fact that one site is substituted for another. Therefore, a subsample of firms that recently relocated to Ticino were asked to evaluate both their present and past locations. These answers allow conclusions to be drawn on possible drivers attracting firms to Ticino. In particular, the Swiss stable institutional background attracts Italian firms, while lower business costs are appealing for firms coming from other Swiss Cantons.
The research presented in this chapter was supported by Fondazione Ferdinando e Laura Pica Alfieri, Lugano.
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