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Knowledge hubs and knowledge clusters: Designing a knowledge architecture for development

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  • Evers, Hans-Dieter

Abstract

With globalisation and knowledge-based production, firms may cooperate on a global scale, outsource parts of their administrative or productive units and negate location altogether. The extremely low transaction costs of data, information and knowledge seem to invalidate the theory of agglomeration and the spatial clustering of firms, going back to the classical work by Alfred Weber (1868-1958) and Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), who emphasized the microeconomic benefits of industrial collocation. This paper will argue against this view and show why the growth of knowledge societies will rather increase than decrease the relevance of location by creating knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs. A knowledge cluster is a local innovation system organized around universities, research institutions and firms which successfully drive innovations and create new industries. Knowledge hubs are localities with high internal and external networking and knowledge sharing capabilities. Both form a new knowledge architecture within an epistemic landscape of knowledge creation and dissemination, structured by knowledge gaps and areas of low knowledge intensity. The paper will focus on the internal dynamics of knowledge clusters and knowledge hubs and show why clustering takes place despite globalisation and the rapid growth of ICT. The basic argument that firms and their delivery chains attempt to reduce transport (transaction) costs by choosing the same location is still valid for most industrial economies, but knowledge hubs have different dynamics relating to externalities produced from knowledge sharing and research and development outputs. The paper draws on empirical data derived from ongoing research in the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University and in the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, supported by the German Aeronautics and Space Agency (DLR).

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  • Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2008. "Knowledge hubs and knowledge clusters: Designing a knowledge architecture for development," MPRA Paper 8778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8778
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    12. von Braun, Joachim, 2018. "Innovations to Overcome the Increasingly Complex Problems of Hunger," Working Papers 271348, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    13. Zbigniew Przygodzki, 2019. "Terytorialny wymiar kapitału ludzkiego," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 4, pages 105-130.
    14. Coulibaly, Ousmane Nafolo, 2021. "Mali - Land, climate, energy, agriculture and development: A study in the Sudano-Sahel Initiative for Regional Development, Jobs, and Food Security," Working Papers 308805, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
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    16. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Genschick, Sven & Schraven, Benjamin, 2009. "Constructing Epistemic Landscapes: Methods of GIS-Based Mapping," MPRA Paper 17135, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Eguavoen, I., 2011. "Digging, damming or diverting? Small-scale irrigation in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia," IWMI Working Papers H044597, International Water Management Institute.
    18. Schädler, Manuel & Gatzweiler, Franz W., 2013. "Institutional Environments for Enabling Agricultural Technology Innovations: The role of Land Rights in Ethiopia, Ghana, India and Bangladesh," Working Papers 159373, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    19. Olayide, Olawale Emmanuel, 2021. "Nigeria - Land, climate, energy, agriculture and development: A study in the Sudano-Sahel Initiative for Regional Development, Jobs, and Food Security," Working Papers 308807, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    20. Baumuller, Heike, 2013. "Mobile Technology Trends and their Potential for Agricultural Development," Working Papers 160565, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    21. Osman, Abdelrahman Khidir & Ali, Adil M., 2021. "Sudan - Land, climate, energy, agriculture and development: A study in the Sudano-Sahel Initiative for Regional Development, Jobs, and Food Security," Working Papers 308810, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    22. Menkhoff, Thomas & Gerke, Solvay & Evers, Hans-Dieter & Chay, Yue Wah, 2009. "Wissensbasierte Entwicklung in Singapur und Malaysia [Knowledge-based development in Singapore and Malaysia]," MPRA Paper 13797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Gulati, Ashok & Sandip, Das, 2020. "India-Africa Partnership in Trade and Investment: With Focus on the Agriculture and Food Sector," Working Papers 304756, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    24. Bekchanov, Maksud & Evia, Pablo, 2018. "Resources Recovery and Reuse in Sanitation and Wastewater Systems: Options and Investment Climate in South and Southeast Asian Countries," Working Papers 274732, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge; knowledge and development; industrial agglomeration; knowledge hub; cluster; space;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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