Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory

Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory

Handbooks of Research on Clusters series

Edited by Charlie Karlsson

Clusters have increasingly dominated local and regional development policies in recent decades and the growing intellectual and political interest for clusters and clustering is the prime motivation for this Handbook. Charlie Karlsson unites leading experts to present a thorough overview of economic cluster research.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Charlie Karlsson

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, clusters, regional economics


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...