Abstract

The proposition that ties between home offices and branch plants constitute a form of metropolitan dominance is evaluated by examining the dependence of these two forms of manufacturing organization on selected characteristics of the 110 largest SMSAs. The predictor variables in the analysis are measures of industry composition, population size, and regional location, factors which past research has shown to be indicators of rank in an urban hierarchy of dominance. The data generally support the hypothesis in revealing that headquarters locate in large, diversified urban areas, whereas branch plant employment is highest in small, economically specialized places. Both headquarters and branch plant activity proved to be associated with the percent of the SMSA labor force employed in manufacturing, however. The suggestion drawn from earlier studies, that specialization in metropolitan financial-commercial functions should be related to the headquarters’ presence, receives only mixed and ambiguous support in this investigation.

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