Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 84: Clusters, Functional Regions and Cluster Policies

Charlie Karlsson ()
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Charlie Karlsson: Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) and CESIS

Abstract: This paper gives an overview of research on economic clusters and clustering and is motivated by the growing intellectual and political interest for the subject. Functional regions have the features that agglomeration of economic activities i.e. clusters, benefit from. Functional regions have low intra-regional transaction and transportation cost and has access to the local labour market. The features of spatial economic concentration were for a long time disregarded and it was first in the early 1990s that Krugman brought the subject into the stage light. The scientific interests of cluster and clustering phenomenon have after the “new” introduction rapidly increased in the last decade. Hence, the subject is being thought at various education levels. The importance of cluster and clustering has also been recognized at a national, regional and local level and cluster policies are becoming a major part of political thinking. These policies are however often based on a scarce analysis where no strict criterions are stated.

Keywords: cluster; location; functional region; knowledge; innovation; entrepreneurship; cluster policy

JEL-codes: R12; R58

25 pages, February 28, 2007

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