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Co-evolution of firms, industries and networks in space

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  • Anne ter Wal

    ()

  • Ron A. Boschma

    ()

Abstract

The cluster literature suffers from a number of shortcomings: (1) by and large, cluster studies do not take into account that firms in a cluster are heterogeneous in terms of capabilities; (2) cluster studies tend to overemphasize the importance of place and geographical proximity and underestimate the role of networks which are, by definition, a-spatial entities; (3) most, if not all cluster studies have a static nature, and do not address questions like the origins and evolution of clusters. Our aim is to overcome these shortcomings and propose a theoretical framework on the evolution of clusters. Bringing together bodies of literature on clusters, industrial dynamics, the evolutionary theory of the firm and network theory, we describe how clusters co-evolve with: (1) the industry they adhere to; (2) the (dynamic) capabilities of the firms they contain; and (3) the industry-wide knowledge network they are part of. Based on this framework, we believe the analysis of cluster evolution provides a promising research agenda in evolutionary economic geography for the years to come.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne ter Wal & Ron A. Boschma, 2007. "Co-evolution of firms, industries and networks in space," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0707, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0707
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0707.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ron A. Boschma & Jan G. Lambooy, 1999. "Evolutionary economics and economic geography," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 411-429.
    2. Michael S. Dahl & Christian Ø.R. Pedersen & Bent Dalum, 2003. "Entry by Spinoff in a High-tech Cluster," DRUID Working Papers 03-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    3. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988, August.
    4. Swann, G. M. Peter & Prevezer, Martha & Stout, David (ed.), 1998. "The Dynamics of Industrial Clustering: International Comparisons in Computing and Biotechnology," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289593.
    5. Max-Peter Menzel & Dirk Fornahl, 2007. "Cluster Life Cycles - Dimensions and Rationales of Cluster Development," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-076, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
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    Keywords

    cluster evolution; network dynamics; industrial dynamics; co-evolution; evolutionary economic geography;

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