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Big Firms, Long Arms, Wide Shoulders: The 'Hub-and-Spoke' Industrial District in the Seattle Region


  • Mia Gray
  • Elyse Golob
  • Ann Markusen


GRAY M., GOLOB E. and MARKUSEN A. (1996) Big firms, long arms, wide shoulders: the 'hub-and-spoke' industrial district in the Seattle region, Reg. Studies 30, 651-666. Rapidly growing regions exhibit distinct varieties of industrial district structure. One variant is the hub-and-spoke form, where an industry and its suppliers cluster around one or several core firms. The hub-and-spoke district is distinct from the flexibly specialized district, its successs a function of dominant firm market power and strategy rather than networking. Hub-and-spoke districts are capable of generating high regional growth rates and good income distributions, but may render a region vulnerable to cyclical and secular decline and/or to the crowding out of noncompeting, newer sectors. The paper analyses the Seattle region as a hub-and-spoke district. GRAY M., GOLOB E. et MARKUSEN A. (1996) Les grandes enterprises tentaculaires: la zone industrielle du type 'moyeu et rayon': cas d'etude de la region de Seattle, Reg. Studies 30, 651-666. Les regions a developpement rapide demontrent des variantes differentes quant a la structure de leurs zones industrielles. Une variante est du type 'moyeu et rayon', ou une industrie et ses fournisseurs s'agglomerent autour d'une ou plusieurs entreprises cle. Une telle zone se distingue de la zone dite a specialisation souple; a savoir sa reussite se rapporte au pouvoir de marche et a la strategie d'une entreprise dominante plutot qu'a des reseaux. En outre, de telles zones sont capables d'engendrer des taux de croissance regionaux eleves et de bonnes distributions du revenu. Toujours est-il qu'elles risquent de rendre une region vulnerable au declin cyclique et seculier et/ou a l'absence de nouveaux secteurs non-competitifs a force de l'encombrement. L'article analyse la region de Seattle en tant que zone du type 'moyeu et rayon'. GRAY M., GOLOB E. und MARKUSEN A. (1996) Grosse Firmen, Lange Arme, Breite Schultern: das 'Radnabe und Speichen' Industriegebiet in der Region von Seattle, Reg. Studies 30, 651-666. Rasch wachsende Regionen weisen deutlich von einander abweichende Arten der Industriegebietsstrukturen auf. Eine solche Variante ist die 'Radnabe-und-Speichenform', bei der eine Industrie und ihre Zulieferer sich um eine oder mehrere Kernfirmen scharen. Das 'Radnabe-und-Speichenformgebiet' unterscheidet sich vom flexibel spezialisierten Gebiet, sein Erfolg ist eher eine Funktion der Markstrategie und -leistungsfahigkeit der vorherrschenden Firma als der Aktivierung eines Netzwerkes. 'Radnabe-und-Speichengebiete' sind in der Lage, hohe regionale Wachstumsraten zu erzeugen und eine gute Einkommensverteilung zu bewirken, konnen jedoch eine Region fur zyklischen und 'sekularen' Niedergang anfallig machen, sowie/oder der Verdrangung aus neuen, nicht im Wettbewerb stehenden Sektoren aussetzen. Dieser Aufsatz analysiert die Region von Seattle als ein 'Radnabe-und Speichengebiet'.

Suggested Citation

  • Mia Gray & Elyse Golob & Ann Markusen, 1996. "Big Firms, Long Arms, Wide Shoulders: The 'Hub-and-Spoke' Industrial District in the Seattle Region," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(7), pages 651-666.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:30:y:1996:i:7:p:651-666
    DOI: 10.1080/00343409612331349948

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
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    1. Beugelsdijk, S. & Cornet, M., 2001. "How far do They Reach? The Localization of Industrial and Academic Knowledge Spillovers in the Netherlands," Discussion Paper 2001-47, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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    3. Ian Clarke & Matias Ramirez, 2011. "Intermediaries and Capability Building in an Emerging Resource based Cluster," SPRU Working Paper Series 197, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    4. Christian Lechner & Michael Dowling, 1999. "The Evolution of Industrial Districts and Regional Networks: The Case of the Biotechnology Region Munich/Martinsried," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 3(4), pages 309-338, December.
    5. Guido Pellegrini & Marusca De Castris, 2005. "Complementarity and substitution among industrial incentive schemes - measures targeted to SME versus measures targeted to large projects," ERSA conference papers ersa05p755, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Robert Lewis, 2009. "Industrial districts and manufacturing linkages: Chicago's printing industry, 1880-1950 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(2), pages 366-387, May.
    7. Guido Buenstorf & Dirk Fornahl, 2006. "B2C - Bubble to Cluster: The Boom, Spin-off Entrepreneurship, and Regional Industry Evolution," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-20, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    8. Capaldo, Antonio & Giannoccaro, Ilaria, 2015. "How does trust affect performance in the supply chain? The moderating role of interdependence," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 36-49.
    9. Emanuele Bacchiocchi & Massimo Florio & Anna Giunta, 2012. "Internationalisation and the agglomeration effect in the global value chain: the case of Italian automotive suppliers," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(3), pages 267-290.
    10. Ekaterina Turkina & Ari Van Assche & Raja Kali, 2016. "Network Structure and Industrial Clustering Dynamics in the Aerospace Industry," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-14, CIRANO.
    11. Adelheid Holl & Rafael Pardo & Ruth Rama, 2010. "Just-in-Time Manufacturing Systems, Subcontracting and Geographic Proximity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 519-533.
    12. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Maarten Cornet, 2002. "'A Far Friend is Worth More than a Good Neighbour': Proximity and Innovation in a Small Country," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 6(2), pages 169-188, May.
    13. P.H. van Dongen, 2011. "The Role and Contribution of Intellectual Property Rights in the Process of Spillover of Knowledge, Knowledge Valorization and Regional Economic Development," Chapters,in: Institutions and Regulation for Economic Growth?, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Gilbert, Brett Anitra, 2012. "Creative destruction: Identifying its geographic origins," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 734-742.
    15. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 409-433, March.


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