National and Regional Perspectives
Edited by Michael Fritsch
Chapter 2: Globalization, Entrepreneurship, and the Region
1 David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik INTRODUCTION Perhaps one of the less-understood phenomena accompanying the increased globalization during the first decade of the twenty-first century has been a shift in the comparative advantage of high-wage countries towards knowledge-based economic activity. An important implication of this shift in this comparative advantage is that much of the production and commercialization of economic knowledge is less associated with footloose multinational corporations and more associated with hightech innovative regional clusters, such as Silicon Valley in California, the Cambridge area in the UK, and the Montpellier area in France. Only two decades ago the conventional wisdom predicted that globalization would render the demise of the region as a meaningful unit of economic analysis. Yet the obsession of policymakers around the globe to ‘create the next Silicon Valley’ reveals the increased importance of geographic proximity and regional agglomerations as well as of the role of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial activity. The purpose of this chapter is to resolve the paradox of globalization by explaining the emergence of entrepreneurship and geographic localization as the two key organizational platforms because of and not in spite of a globalizing economy. That globalization is one of the defining changes at the turn of the century is clear from a reading of the popular press. Like all grand concepts, a definition for globalization is elusive and elicits criticism. That domestic economies are globalizing is a cliché makes it no less true. In fact, the...
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