Studies in Regional Economic Development
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 1: Endogenous regional growth and development: clusters, agglomeration and entrepreneurship
Regional economic development has experienced considerable dynamism over the recent past. Perhaps the most stunning cases are China and India rising to emergent country status by the turn of the millennium, when most development economists believed in the mid to late twentieth century that such developments could not and would never occur. Paralleling these developments are similar stories of rapid growth at both the national (for example, the four little dragons-Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan; and also Malaysia and Brazil) and the sub-national regional level, which are elaborated on below. With time now for hindsight, some of the reasons these development successes are beginning to emerge are becoming known. The four little dragons' success is tied to what has come to be known as export-dominated development. By focusing on sizeable export markets for non-durable and to some extent durable goods at first and then later, on durables coupled with disciplined, educated and educable labor forces, these countries rose to developed status by the closing decade of the twentieth century. While all of this was going on, new thinking about economic growth-such as the 'new growth theory', along with recognition of emerging patterns of change such as agglomeration, clustering and entrepreneurship-began to modify the quasi-static development views of the neo-classical perspective on economic growth that had changed little since the 1950s following the work of Solow.
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