Networks, Governance and Economic Development

Networks, Governance and Economic Development

Bridging Disciplinary Frontiers

Edited by Mari Jose Aranguren Querejeta, Cristina Iturrioz Landart and James R. Wilson

This compact and authoritative book brings together the topical themes of networks and governance to advance understanding of the determinants of local economic development in the context of increasingly global relationships.

Chapter 3: Territorial Dynamics: Towards a New Model of Development Facing Globalization

Bernard Pecqueur

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


Bernard Pecqueur 1 INTRODUCTION Far from harmonizing stakeholder behaviour and strategies, the evolution of the international division of labour in contemporary forms of globalization is tending to highlight the differing development and the cultural uniqueness of local territories. In other words, the economic world is becoming ‘clusterized’ (in the meaning M. Porter has given the word). There are many types of cluster: Industrial District, Local Production System, Local Food Production System, Innovatory Environment, Metropolitan Environment, Learning Areas and so on. There are now numerous analyses1 tending towards the same observation that contemporary production is influenced by ‘meso-economic’ groupings, or networks of economic actors, in which stakeholder propinquity plays a structuring role. In the light of this, is it still legitimate to speak of a world economy motivated solely by differences in production costs? True, cost differences are huge and entail quasi-automatic delocalizing movements. True, new consumer markets are no doubt moving (a little) towards new countries (e.g., China, India and possibly others). However, it is largely new costs which are coming into play: it should be remembered that the most common upmarket Nike shoe sells for $70 in the USA, out of which labour costs account for only $2.75 (Cohen, 2004). Intangible factors such as product image, services related to selling the product and other components not directly related to production costs make up the bulk of the shoe’s price structure, and constitute a paradigm of a global industrial object. It may be wondered what the...

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