Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan
Conclusion: regeneration economies: manufacturing as the next industrial revolution
Manufacturing continues to matter and its study must form a central part of the social and engineering sciences. Manufacturing involves all countries – from high-cost developed market economies to emerging economies. Manufacturing may be a labor-or capital-intensive production process in which labor has been replaced by machines. In most cases, the manufacture of a product involves elements that are labor and capital intensive. The manufacture of the simplest product requires knowledge, skill and expertise, and often relies on a complex geographically distributed production system. There are also localized agglomeration economies embedded within distributed systems of production. The economy is complex and requires many different tasks to create products (Bryson and Rusten, 2010); tasks include manufacturing activities, services, finance, logistics, retailing, education and training, and research and development. There is a danger in segmenting an economy into discrete packages. Thus, a focus just on financial services may isolate finance from retailing or manufacturing. Similarly, a focus on a narrow definition of manufacturing may ignore the role logistics, finance and retailing play in the production of products. In this collection, the focus has been on manufacturing, but it has also highlighted the importance of many other economic sectors and activities for the manufacture of products.
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