Economic Networks and Urban Complementarities in the Dutch Randstad Region
In this paper we analyze the regional embeddedness of firmâ€™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 firmsâ€™ 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), â€œNetwork cities: creative urban agglomerations for the 21st Centuryâ€ . In: Urban Studies 32, pp. 313-327. Hess, M. (2004), â€œSpatial relationships? Towards a reconceptualization of embeddednessâ€ In: Progress in Human Geography 28, pp. 165-186.
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