Chapter 6: Regional agglomeration and industrial clusters
In recent years, the concept of industrial clusters and agglomeration economies has become one of the most prevalent concepts in local and regional development research and practice. The cluster concept, however, is not new and goes back to early location theories. This recent interest in industrial clusters and agglomerations mainly stemmed from extensive scholarly work on the subject over the 1980s and 1990s, which revitalized and improved upon earlier approaches to regional economic growth and development. It was clearly and effectively demonstrated that clusters and agglomerations are fundamental parts of successful local and regional development. Even though globalization has diminished some of the traditional roles of location and industrial clusters are a prominent feature of national and regional economies that reveal important insights about the role of location in competitive advantage. Large-scale agglomeration and regional economic specialization have been expanding due to the forces of globalization, which suggests that economic development will be further linked to the geographical concentration of economic activities in coming years. Therefore, this chapter reviews the industrial cluster and agglomeration concepts and discusses their main characteristics, types, dimensions and life cycle.
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