Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory
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Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory

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.
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Chapter 4: The Knowledge Spillover Theory of Entrepreneurship and Spatial Clusters

David B. Audretsch and T. Taylor Aldridge


David B. Audretsch and T. Taylor Aldridge* 1 Introduction The emergence of knowledge as perhaps the key factor in shaping economic growth, employment creation and competitiveness in globally linked markets has also had an impact on the organization of economic activity. First, it has affected the spatial organization of economic activity. In particular, globalization has rendered the organization of economic activity for the spatial unit of the region more important. Just as globalization has reduced the marginal cost of transmitting information and physical capital across geographic space to virtually zero, it has also shifted the comparative advantage of a highcost Standort, or location, in the developed countries from being based on capital to being based on knowledge. This shift in the relative cost of (tacit) knowledge vis-à-vis information has been identified as increasing the value of geographic proximity. To access knowledge, locational proximity is important. Thus, a paradox of globalization is that it has geographic proximity and location as being more important, not in spite of a globalizing economy, but because of it. A very different literature has identified a second impact of globalization on the organization of economic activity, which involves the enterprise. While early analyses had predicted that large corporations were endowed with a competitive advantage in accessing, producing and commercializing knowledge, more recently studies have suggested that a very different organizational form – the entrepreneurial firm – has the competitive knowledge in the knowledge-based global economy. The purpose of this chapter is to...

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