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External Economies Of Scale: Definition And Examples External Economies Of Scale: Definition And Examples


External Economies Of Scale: Definition And Examples

Discover the concept of external economies of scale in finance. Explore the definition and examples of how this phenomenon can impact businesses and industries.

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External Economies of Scale: Definition and Examples

Welcome to our Finance category, where we explore a variety of topics related to managing your personal finances, investments, and understanding economic concepts. In this blog post, we will dive into the concept of external economies of scale – what it is, how it works, and provide some real-world examples. So, if you’ve ever wondered how businesses can benefit from external factors to increase their efficiency and reduce costs, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • External economies of scale occur when businesses benefit from factors outside of their own operations, resulting in cost efficiencies and improved productivity.
  • Examples of external economies of scale include the presence of specialized suppliers, a well-developed transportation infrastructure, and an abundance of skilled labor in a particular region.

What are External Economies of Scale?

External economies of scale refer to the cost advantages and productivity improvements that businesses can achieve by operating in an environment where the surrounding factors positively impact their operations. Unlike internal economies of scale, which result from a company’s internal factors such as increased production levels or improved technology, external economies of scale involve factors that are beyond the control of an individual business.

The main idea behind external economies of scale is that businesses can benefit from the presence of external factors that lead to a more efficient and cost-effective operation. These external factors may include an industry cluster, an effective transportation network, an availability of specialized suppliers, and even an educated and skilled workforce in a specific area. Let’s take a closer look at some examples to better understand how external economies of scale work.

Examples of External Economies of Scale

1. Industry Cluster: When businesses within the same industry locate themselves close to one another, they can benefit from shared resources, knowledge exchange, and access to a specialized labor pool. For example, Silicon Valley in California is known as a hub of technology companies. By being in close proximity to one another, these companies can access a skilled labor force, share research and development insights, and collaborate on innovative projects. This clustering effect leads to increased productivity and a higher level of competitiveness for all businesses involved.

2. Transportation Infrastructure: A well-developed and efficient transportation network can bring numerous advantages to businesses operating within its reach. For instance, the presence of an extensive freeway system, ports, and airports can enable companies to quickly and economically transport their goods, leading to cost savings. Additionally, a reliable transportation infrastructure can facilitate the movement of skilled workers, making it easier for businesses to attract and retain talent.

3. Specialized Suppliers: In some regions, certain industries may have a concentration of specialized suppliers who provide essential components or raw materials. When businesses have easy access to these suppliers, they can benefit from cost savings, shorter lead times, and improved efficiency in their production processes. This advantage can arise due to a collective bargaining power resulting from the proximity and concentration of suppliers, leading to lower prices and better terms.

4. Skilled Labor Pool: Areas with a high concentration of skilled workers in a specific field can bring significant advantages to businesses operating in that industry. The availability of a well-educated and experienced labor pool can allow companies to find talent easily, reduce training costs, and improve productivity. This aspect is particularly crucial in industries that require specialized skills or knowledge.


External economies of scale hold the potential for businesses to achieve cost savings, increased productivity, and improved competitiveness by capitalizing on external factors that positively impact their operations. From industry clustering to transportation infrastructure and specialized suppliers to skilled labor pools, these external factors can provide businesses with a significant edge in their respective industries.

Understanding and leveraging external economies of scale can be key to success for companies looking to optimize their operations and stay ahead of the competition. By recognizing the impact of external factors and strategically positioning themselves in favorable environments, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth and profitability.