Description - Knowledge Economies by Philip Cooke
Today concerns about national competitiveness and economic development are closely linked to notions of the information society and knowledge-based economy. Some see the emergence of a 'new economy', based on information, communication, media and biotechnologies. As in previous bursts of economic growth, these innovative industries emerge and grow in specific geographic locations, now called 'clusters'. The well-known case of Silicon Valley was merely the first of a large number of such clusters to have developed in recent years. Clusters are characterised by co-operative and competitive, trustful and rivalrous, exchange and favour-based business interactions. This book traces the theoretical explanation for clusters back to the work of classical economists and their more modern disciples who saw economic development as a process involving serious imbalances in the exploitation of resources. First natural resource endowments explained the formation of nineteenth and early twentieth-century industrial districts. Today geographical concentrations of scientific and creative knowledge are the key resource.
But these require a support system, ranging from major injections of basic research funding, to varieties of financial investment and management, and specialist incubators for economic value to be realised. These are also specialised forms of knowledge that contribute to a serious imbalance in the distribution of economic opportunity. The key question is whether the techniques of cluster building can be learned and promotional policies implemented to offset the natural imbalances in the distribution of these specialised knowledge resources. Developing on the idea of multi-level governance and policymaking, this book reviews cases where national governments working intelligently with regional, local and, in Europe, supranational governance organisations, have been able to implant clusters in places that previously did not have them. Learning about the nature of clusters, and from experiences in developing them with the help of policy intervention, will assist the process of strengthening existing ones, developing new ones and revitalising older ones. In the process, the goals of regional equity and competitiveness should be enhanced.
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(234mm x 156mm x 16mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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