Handbooks of Research on Clusters series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson
Chapter 1: Introduction
Charlie Karlsson This handbook presents a comprehensive overview of research on economic clusters, which hopefully will be of interest to scholars as well as practitioners involved in cluster formation and cluster management. In the development of this book, leading writers on clusters from many countries have been attracted. The result is a thorough overview of economic cluster research in terms of agglomeration and cluster theory, methods for analysing clusters, clustering in diﬀerent spatial contexts, and clustering in service industries. An overview of research on clustering in high-tech industries, cluster case studies and cluster policies is presented in a parallel handbook – ‘Handbook of Research on Innovation and Cluster: Cases and Policies’ edited by Charlie Karlsson and published by Edward Elgar. The studies cover the developed economies in Europe and North America. Clusters and clustering have caught the imagination of scholars and policy makers as well as business people. A general search on Google in October 2006 on the concept cluster gave about 116 million hits. An unrestricted search on Google Scholar gave about 1 550 000 hits, while a search restricted to economic and social sciences gave about 206 000 hits. These results clearly illustrate the great general scientiﬁc interest in clusters and clustering. The interest in clusters and clustering among researchers in economics and related subjects is also increasing rapidly. Using EconLit of October 2006, we ﬁnd three hits for clusters in 1969 but 146 hits for clusters in 2005. The study of clusters and clustering and related...