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The old and the new: the evolution of polymer and biomedical clusters in Ohio and Sweden

  • Dan Johansson

    ()

    (Royal Institute of Technology, Industrial Organization and Management, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Dilek Cetindamar

    ()

    (Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey)

  • Bo Carlsson

    ()

    (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7206, USA)

  • Pontus Braunerhjelm

    ()

    (Center for Business and Policy Studies , 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden)

This paper examines the rapid growth of the polymer-based and biomedical clusters in Ohio and Sweden - two regions of similar size and with similar traditions undergoing similar industrial restructuring. Two issues are addressed: First, why has growth been so strong in these particular clusters, i.e., can we identify the sources of the growth and dynamics in these sectors? Second, why do these two clusters differ in Ohio and Sweden in terms of size, level and type of activity, number and composition of actors, size structure of firms and growth patterns over the last couple of decades? In particular, what is the role of public policies as well as cultural, historical, and geographic factors? Our main conclusions are (1) that there is strong path dependence in both clusters in both countries, and (2) that the key to rapid development is a high absorptive capacity combined with rapid diffusion to new potential users. Our policy discussion addresses these issues.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 471-488

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:10:y:2000:i:5:p:471-488
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