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Endogenous versus exogenous development: a comparative study of biotechnology industry cluster policies in South Korea and Singapore


  • Yong-Sook Lee
  • Ying-Chian Tee
  • Dong-wan Kim


With this study we aim to develop a theoretical understanding and to assess policy implications of cluster development in the context of a knowledge-driven, globalizing Asian economy. We will examine both the strengths and the limitations of recent biotechnology cluster policies in South Korea and Singapore. We argue that the two states share similar experiences in terms of the state’s proactive role as a cluster creator, but that they have promoted biotechnology industry clusters in contrasting ways due to different national politics and political institutions. South Korea places more emphasis on endogenous capabilities, while Singapore highlights the importance of exogenous capabilities in biotechnology cluster development. By analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of these contrasting cluster policies, we evaluate the long-standing debate between endogenism and exogenism in the study of regional development. Instead of these dualistic approaches, we employ a global production network analytical lens for understanding the dynamic interactions between localized growth factors (endogenous) and globalizing external factors (exogenous) in the context of Asian biotechnology cluster development. We adopt a multipart strategy that includes archives, surveys, in-depth interviews, and secondary source data collection in order to enhance the validity and reliability of the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Yong-Sook Lee & Ying-Chian Tee & Dong-wan Kim, 2009. "Endogenous versus exogenous development: a comparative study of biotechnology industry cluster policies in South Korea and Singapore," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(4), pages 612-631, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:27:y:2009:i:4:p:612-631

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Mangematin & Khalid Errabi, 2012. "The Determinants Of The Science-Based Cluster Growth: The Case Of Nanotechnologies," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00526701, HAL.

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