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Economic Networks and Urban Complementarities in the Dutch Randstad Region


  • Otto Raspe


  • Frank Van Oort


  • Martijn Burger



In this paper we analyze the regional embeddedness of firm’s networks in Dutch regions. Theorizing on urban economic networks is an important issue in the urban economic growth literature (Batten 1995, Hess 2004). For this, 2000 firms in basic sectors (industrial, business-services and wholesale) provided information on their ten most important relationships with other firms in terms of turnover. Besides the relations themselves, the type of relations (standardized, customized or joint-venture), the frequency of relations, the sectoral composition and the exact destination of relations are known. These aspects are used to create subsamples that are analyzed. We draw conclusions of the shares of intra-urban relations, intra-region relations, national relations and international relations. Aggregated to the municipal level, we test for the central place hypothesis of firms’ subcontracting and delivering relations as opposed to the network hypothesis of multinodality, in six regions in the Netherlands. Conclusions on the importance of both paradigms are drawn and related to recent policy initiatives that aim at urban network development. Batten, D. (1995), “Network cities: creative urban agglomerations for the 21st Century†. In: Urban Studies 32, pp. 313-327. Hess, M. (2004), “Spatial relationships? Towards a reconceptualization of embeddedness†In: Progress in Human Geography 28, pp. 165-186.

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  • Otto Raspe & Frank Van Oort & Martijn Burger, 2006. "Economic Networks and Urban Complementarities in the Dutch Randstad Region," ERSA conference papers ersa06p827, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p827

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    1. Muhammed Dalgin & Vitor Trindade & Devashish Mitra, 2008. "Inequality, Nonhomothetic Preferences, and Trade: A Gravity Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 747-774, January.
    2. Lambert van der Laan, 1998. "Changing Urban Systems: An Empirical Analysis at Two Spatial Levels," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 235-247.
    3. Maarten van Ham & Pieter Hooimeijer & Clara H. Mulder, 2001. "Urban Form and Job Access: Disparate Realities in the Randstad," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 92(2), pages 231-246, May.
    4. Andrew Jones, 2005. "Truly global corporations? Theorizing 'organizational globalization' in advanced business-services," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 177-200, April.
    5. Koen Frenken, 2002. "A New Indicator of European Integration and an Application to Collaboration in Scientific Research," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 345-361.
    6. Peter Cabus & Wim Vanhaverbeke, 2006. "The territoriality of the network economy and urban networks: evidence from flanders," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 25-53, January.
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