Knowledge in the Development of Economies
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Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Institutional Choices Under Globalisation

Edited by Silvia Sacchetti and Roger Sugden

This innovative book offers a critical perspective on the state of the current global economy, making sense of knowledge-related issues by critically assessing existing institutional choices, as well as pointing to new ways forward.
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Chapter 4: Knowledgeable Regions, Jacobian Clusters and Green Innovation

Philip Cooke


Philip Cooke INTRODUCTION As is well-known, for those interested in evolutionary economic geography, Schumpeter left almost no regional or spatial analysis of economic phenomena. From the evolutionary economic geography and policy viewpoints, this is clearly disappointing. His two brief allusions are highly time–space specific. The first concerns Schumpeter’s fifth form of innovation, which he designated ‘railroadization’ – the phenomenon by which US agricultural lands were opened up to markets by infrastructural investments, not only in railroads but farms, grain silos and even agricultural manuals that the railroad companies of the western USA had printed so that pioneers accessing cheap land on the plains would know how to farm that land. This ‘regional evolution’ of land and markets was, rightly, considered an externalized organizational innovation as compared with the internalized organizational innovation of a corporation adopting new management methods that gave it an, albeit temporary, competitive edge (Schumpeter, 1975). The second allusion is even briefer where Schumpeter mentions innovation such as the department store only being feasible in the large city due to the level of demand required to sustain such an innovation. Hence the city is seen as having some economic specificity from its scale attributes, but Schumpeter says nothing about the dynamics of the entailed processes (Andersen, 1994, 2007). However, this chapter suggests that bemoaning Schumpeterian neglect of the spatial dimension may be misplaced. His category of innovation by railroadization helps understanding of regional innovation in which clusters ‘mutate’ through a Jacobian (after Jane Jacobs, 1969) related variety operating...

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