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Paul Krugman's Geographical Economics, Industrial Clustering and the British Motor Sport Industry


  • Steven Pinch
  • Nick Henry


PINCH S. and HENRY N. (1999) Paul Krugman's geographical economics, industrial clustering and the British motor sport industry, Reg. Studies 33 , 815-827. Paul Krugman is one of a growing band of economists who have discovered the importance of the region in stimulating national economic competitiveness. Whilst the early reactions to his ideas by geographers tended to be hostile, there have recently been calls by geographers for a more considered view of his concepts. This paper examines the utility of Krugman's ideas for explaining the geographical cluster of small firms constituted by the British motor sport industry. It is argued that Krugman's emphasis upon accidents of history and external economies of scale provides only partial insights into the reasons for the evolution and maintenance of this industrial agglomeration. Greater insights are provided by an approach which focuses upon the dissemination of knowledge through the concept of untraded interdependencies. PINCH S. et HENRY N. (1999) L'economie geographique d'apres Paul Krugman, l'agglomeration industrielle et l'industrie du sport automobile en Grande-Bretagne, Reg. Studies 33 , 815-827. Paul Krugman fait partie d'un groupe d'economistes de plus en plus nombreux qui ont decouvert l'importance de la region en tant que catalyseur quant a la competitivite economique nationale. Tandis que les premieres reactions des geographes a ses idees avaient tendance a etre hostiles, plus recemment un avis plus reflechi de ses idees a ete reclame. Cet article cherche a examiner l'utilite des idees de Krugman pour expliquer l'agglomeration geographique des petites entreprises qui constituent l'industrie du sport automobile en Grande-Bretagne. On affirme que l'accent que met Krugman sur les effets ponctuels et les economies d'echelle externes ne donne que des apercus partiels sur l'evolution et le maintien de cette agglomeration industrielle. Une facon qui porte sur la diffusion des connaissances par l'idee des interdependances non-commerciales donne des apercus plus clairs. PINCH S. und HENRY N. (1999) Paul Krugmans geographische Wirtschaftswissenschaft, industrielle Ballung und die britische Autorennsportindustrie, Reg. Studies 33 , 815-827. Paul Krugman gehort zu der immer zahlreicher werdenden Schar der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, welche die Bedeutung der Region bei der Belebung der wirtschaftlichen Wettbewerbsfahigkeit eines Landes entdeckt haben. Obschon anfanglich die Reaktion der Geographen auf seine Ideen meist feindlicher Natur waren, gab es in jungster Zeit unter ihnen Aufrufe zu abwagenderer Betrachtung seiner Vorstellungen. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die Nutzlichkeit der krugmanschen Ideen zur Erklarung der geographischen Ballung kleiner Firmen, welche die britische Autorennsportindustrie bilden. Es wird die Ansicht vertreten, dass Krugmans Betonung historischer Zufalle und ausserlichen Einsparungen durch gesteigerte Produktivitat nur teilweise Einsichten in Grunde fur Entwicklung und Fortbestand dieser industriellen Ballung liefert. Vertiefte Einsichten werden durch ein Angehen vermittelt, das sich auf die Vebreitung von Kenntnissen durch das Konzept einer vom Handel nicht berucksichtigten-wechselseitigen Abhangigkeit konzentriert.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Pinch & Nick Henry, 1999. "Paul Krugman's Geographical Economics, Industrial Clustering and the British Motor Sport Industry," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 815-827.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:33:y:1999:i:9:p:815-827 DOI: 10.1080/00343409950075461

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krugman, Paul, 1994. "Complex Landscapes in Economic Geography," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 412-416, May.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History and Industry Location: The Case of the Manufacturing Belt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 80-83, May.
    3. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610450, July.
    4. Martin, Ron, 1999. "The New 'Geographical Turn' in Economics: Some Critical Reflections," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 65-91, January.
    5. Paul Krugman, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-667.
    6. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    7. Krugman, Paul, 1981. "Trade, accumulation, and uneven development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 149-161, April.
    8. S Pinch & N Henry, 1999. "Discursive aspects of technological innovation: the case of the British motor-sport industry," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(4), pages 665-682, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ron Boschma & Rikard H. Eriksson & Urban Lindgren, 2014. "Labour Market Externalities and Regional Growth in Sweden: The Importance of Labour Mobility between Skill-Related Industries," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(10), pages 1669-1690, October.
    2. Robert Bennett & William Bratton & Paul Robson, 2000. "Business Advice: The Influence of Distance," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(9), pages 813-828.
    3. repec:rri:wpaper:200605 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bram Timmermans & Ron Boschma, 2014. "The effect of intra- and inter-regional labour mobility on plant performance in Denmark: the significance of related labour inflows," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 289-311.
    5. Ugo Fratesi, 2004. "Measuring and Explaining Localisation: Evidence from two British Sectors," Urban/Regional 0407003, EconWPA.
    6. N. A. Phelps & R. J. Fallon & C. L. Williams, 2001. "Small Firms, Borrowed Size and the Urban-Rural Shift," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(7), pages 613-624.


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