Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2015/18: Do spinoff dynamics or agglomeration externalities drive industry clustering? A reappraisal of Steven Klepper’s work

Ron Boschma ()
Additional contact information
Ron Boschma: CIRCLE, Lund University and Regional research centre Utrecht (URU), Utrecht University

Abstract: Klepper’s theory of industry clustering based on organizational reproduction and inheritance through spinoffs challenged the Marshallian view on industry clustering. The paper provides an assessment of Klepper’s theoretical and empirical work on industry clustering. We explore how ‘new’ his spinoff theory on industry clustering was, and we investigate the impact of Klepper’s theory on the economic geography community. Klepper’s work has inspired especially recent literature on regional branching that argues that new industries grow out of and recombine capabilities from local related industries. Finally, the paper discusses what questions on industry location are still left open or in need of more evidence in the context of Klepper’s theory.

Keywords: Klepper; spinoff dynamics; agglomeration economies; Marshall; industry cluster; evolutionary economic geography

JEL-codes: B15; B52; O18; R11

22 pages, May 14, 2015

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