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Knowledge hubs and knowledge clusters: Designing a knowledge architecture for development

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  • Evers, Hans-Dieter

Abstract

With globalisation and knowledge-based production, firms may cooperate on a global scale, outsource parts of their administrative or productive units and negate location altogether. The extremely low transaction costs of data, information and knowledge seem to invalidate the theory of agglomeration and the spatial clustering of firms, going back to the classical work by Alfred Weber (1868-1958) and Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), who emphasized the microeconomic benefits of industrial collocation. This paper will argue against this view and show why the growth of knowledge societies will rather increase than decrease the relevance of location by creating knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs. A knowledge cluster is a local innovation system organized around universities, research institutions and firms which successfully drive innovations and create new industries. Knowledge hubs are localities with high internal and external networking and knowledge sharing capabilities. Both form a new knowledge architecture within an epistemic landscape of knowledge creation and dissemination, structured by knowledge gaps and areas of low knowledge intensity. The paper will focus on the internal dynamics of knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs and show why clustering takes place despite globalisation and the rapid growth of ICT. The basic argument that firms and their delivery chains attempt to reduce transport (transaction) costs by choosing the same location is still valid for most industrial economies, but knowledge hubs have different dynamics relating to externalities produced from knowledge sharing and research and development outputs. The paper draws on empirical data derived from ongoing research in the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University and in the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, supported by the German Aeronautics and Space Agency (DLR).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8778.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8778

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Keywords: knowledge; knowledge and development; industrial agglomeration; knowledge hub; cluster; space;

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References

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  1. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischmann & James B. Rebitzer, 2005. "Job Hopping in Silicon Valley: Some Evidence Concerning the Micro-Foundations of a High Technology Cluster," NBER Working Papers 11710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. H.-D. Evers & A.-K. Hornidge, 2007. "Knowledge hubs along the Straits of Malacca," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 417-433, September.
  3. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Editorial: Role of Proximity in Interaction and Performance: Conceptual and Empirical Challenges," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 41-45.
  4. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
  5. Simona Iammarino & Philip McCann, 2006. "The Structure and Evolution of Industrial Clusters: Transactions, Technology and Knowledge Spillovers," SPRU Working Paper Series 138, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  6. Lars H�kanson, 2005. "Epistemic Communities and Cluster Dynamics: On the Role of Knowledge in Industrial Districts," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 433-463.
  7. Elisa Giuliani, 2007. "The selective nature of knowledge networks in clusters: evidence from the wine industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 139-168, March.
  8. Cristiano Antonelli, 2000. "Collective Knowledge Communication and Innovation: The Evidence of Technological Districts," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(6), pages 535-547.
  9. Al James, 2005. "Demystifying the role of culture in innovative regional economies," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(9), pages 1197-1216.
  10. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Gerke, Solvay, 2007. "Social and Cultural Dimensions of Market Expansion," MPRA Paper 6587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Menkhoff, Thomas & Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2011. "The governance of Singapore’s knowledge clusters: off shore marine business and waterhub," MPRA Paper 33979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Genschick, Sven & Schraven, Benjamin, 2009. "Constructing Epistemic Landscapes: Methods of GIS-Based Mapping," MPRA Paper 17135, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. von Braun, Joachim & Gerber, Nicolas & Mirzabaev, Alisher & Nkonya, Ephraim M., 2013. "The Economics of Land Degradation," Working Papers 147910, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  4. Siriwardane, Rapti & Winands, Sarah, 2013. "Between hope and hype: Traditional knowledge(s) held by marginal communities," Working Papers 151401, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  5. Menkhoff, Thomas & Gerke, Solvay & Evers, Hans-Dieter & Chay, Yue Wah, 2009. "Wissensbasierte Entwicklung in Singapur und Malaysia
    [Knowledge-based development in Singapore and Malaysia]
    ," MPRA Paper 13797, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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