Elgar original reference
Edited by Philip Cooke, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma, Ron Martin, Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling
Ron Boschma and Ron Martin RELATEDNESS AND PATH-DEPENDENCE Two recurring themes in this Handbook are relatedness of industry, by means of which regional growth is assisted, and path-dependence, by means of which it can be constrained. Exploration of the first is a relatively recent phenomenon, pioneered by Ron Boschma and Koen Frenken, but already it is a core body of theory and empirical research in evolutionary economic geography. The main mechanism by which relatedness influences regional growth is through knowledge transfer between firms, one result of which can be innovation. The key agents of such transfer are employees developing their careers by changing jobs in neighbouring areas and new companies being formed by the spin-off process that may also be a vehicle for innovations. Path-dependence is a more established concept arising in economic history, particularly the branch interested in the history of innovation. It has been analysed fruitfully by Ron Martin and colleagues in the context of evolutionary economic geography and particularly regional development, adaptation and change. The authors of Chapter 14 indicate the pivotal position occupied by the idea of ‘related variety’ in evolutionary economic geography. Comparable to ‘proximity’ as presented in Chapter 20 of this Handbook, it has numerous dimensions, notably the cognitive, social, organizational, institutional and geographical. Much research effort is exercised in relation to both concepts, seeking to assess the relative importance of each in understanding, for example, the evolution of agglomerations or clusters, the core problematic of economic geography. In doing this, light is cast...