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Agglomeration and Specialisation Patterns of Finnish Biotechnology. On the Search for an Economic Rationale of a Dispersed Industry Structure

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  • Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi
  • Hermans, Raine

Abstract

This study sets out to inspect empirically whether existing theory in Geographical Economics (GE) is able to provide a rationale for the controversial and much debated structure of the highly knowledge- and research-intensive biotechnology industry in Finland. In addition to providing evidence of GE in action, we integrate the effects that active public technology policy might have on geographic structures of industries into our analysis as a novel discourse. The results provide evidence of a theory based rationale that is able to deepen our understanding of the roles that different regions have enacted in the development of the case industry. Simultaneously, however, the rationale also reveals several challenges that different types of regions still have to overcome in order to steer on a track of sustainable economic development in the future. Based on the results we argue that public sector funding has enabled certain regions to develop in ways that otherwise would not be sustainable.

Suggested Citation

  • Tahvanainen, Antti-Jussi & Hermans, Raine, 2008. "Agglomeration and Specialisation Patterns of Finnish Biotechnology. On the Search for an Economic Rationale of a Dispersed Industry Structure," Discussion Papers 1133, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2000. "Diversity and Specialisation in Cities: Why, Where and When Does it Matter?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 37(3), pages 533-555, March.
    2. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life Cycle of Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1454-1477, December.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    4. Brezis, Elise S & Krugman, Paul R, 1997. "Technology and the Life Cycle of Cities," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 369-383, December.
    5. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
    6. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2002. "The determinants of national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 899-933, August.
    7. James R. Markusen, 1998. "Multinational Firms, Location and Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(6), pages 733-756, August.
    8. Monfort, Philippe & Nicolini, Rosella, 2000. "Regional Convergence and International Integration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 286-306, September.
    9. Rikard Forslid & Ian Wooton, 2003. "Comparative Advantage and the Location of Production," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 588-603, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hermans, Raine & Kamien, Morton & Kulvik, Martti & Löffler, Alicia & Shalowitz, Joel (ed.), . "Medical Innovation and Government Intervention," ETLA B, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, number 236.

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    Keywords

    geographical economics; regional agglomeration; regional specialisation; regional integration;

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