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Learning in the Village Economy of Denmark. The role of Institutions and Policy in Sustaining Competitiveness

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  • Peter Maskell

Abstract

The benefits of an international division of labour is never illustrated more clearly than in small developed nations like Denmark. Without many natural resources such countries can never be self sufficient and they need access to foreign markets in order for their firms to specialise and utilize economics of scale. The specialisation chosen is mainly in low-tech goods, where the risk of sudden domestically damaging changes in technology or demand are relatively small. Besides such general features of small developed nations, the Danish case has some special characteristics, which distinguishes it from many other nations and regions. One important feature is the century-old, deep-rooted egalitarian beliefs of the society which during the last century has intermixed with the growth of the public sector in shaping not only the welfare state, but also a strongly consensus-seeking political system - the negotiated economy - incorporating all major groups in the economy. Recently, the development towards a knowledge based world economy has increased the importance of another feature with an small egalitarian country: the kind of trust-relations, that come into existence, when everyone in an industry has known everybody else through many years. The international industrial competitiveness of the country's vast majority of small, export oriented firms are not only favoured by a reasonable adequate macro-economic policy but further enhanced by the ease in the exchange of information resulting from established trust-relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Maskell, 1996. "Learning in the Village Economy of Denmark. The role of Institutions and Policy in Sustaining Competitiveness," DRUID Working Papers 96-6, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:96-6
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    File URL: http://www3.druid.dk/wp/19960006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Doring & Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "What do we know about geographical knowledge spillovers and regional growth?: A survey of the literature," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 375-395.
    2. Dieter Ernst & Bengt-åke Lundvall, 2004. "Information Technology in the Learning Economy: Challenges for Developing Countries," Chapters,in: Globalization, Economic Development and Inequality, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. David Doloreux & Saeed Parto, 2004. "Regional Innovation Systems: Current Discourse and Challenges for Future Research," ERSA conference papers ersa04p56, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Kari Kristinsson & Rekha Rao, 2008. "Interactive Learning or Technology Transfer as a Way to Catch-Up? Analysing the Wind Energy Industry in Denmark and India," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 297-320.
    5. Richard Harris, 2011. "Models Of Regional Growth: Past, Present And Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 913-951, December.
    6. Garri Raagmaa, 2003. "Centre?periphery model explaining the regional development of the informational and transitional society," ERSA conference papers ersa03p503, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Sotarauta, Markku & Srinivas, Smita, 2006. "Co-evolutionary policy processes: Understanding innovative economies and future resilience," MPRA Paper 52689, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sotarauta, Markku & Viljamaa, Kimmo, 2002. "Leadership and management in the development of regional innovation environments," ERSA conference papers ersa02p071, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Raagmaa, Garri, 1999. "Territorial Identity as a Competitive Factor in Regional Economic Development," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa267, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Peter Maskell, 1996. "Localised Low-tech Learning in the Furniture Industry," DRUID Working Papers 96-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International competitiveness; small nations; economic development; learning economy; informal institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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