Cases and Policies
Handbooks of Research on Clusters series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson
Chapter 19: Spatial and Functional Clustering: A Comparative Analysis of the Baltimore and Washington DC Metropolitan Regions in the US
Guang Yang, Roger R. Stough and Kingsley E. Haynes Since the early 1990s, there has been considerable theoretical and policy discussion on industrial clustering and its role in facilitating innovation, contributing to agglomeration economies and enhancing competitiveness. However, there has been limited attention given to the spatial dimensions of clusters other than to associate them with some level of spatial scale, such as a metropolitan area or states. The focus of the chapter is on spatial analysis of clusters and how that relates to their sectoral or functional structure. The chapter develops a plant-level approach and a related methodology to investigate the relationship between spatial and functional clustering. A comparative case study approach is employed to examine the hypothesis for the Washington DC and Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan regions in the US. This approach enables tests of the hypothesis and in part addresses the problems of generalization that arise in case study analyses. The research results provide support for the hypotheses, although the strength of the results for Baltimore is weaker than for Washington. Conclusions are oﬀered at the end of the chapter, including a discussion of the opportunities for future research. 1 Introduction and the research problem Industrial cluster analysis has attracted considerable theoretical, methodological and policy attention, especially since the early 1990s. Unlike the research of the 1980s on new industrial regions as typiﬁed by Piore and Sabel (1983, 1984), Sabel (1989), Scott (1988), Scott and Storper (1987), Hirst and Zeitlin (1989) and Storper and Scott (1989)...
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