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Location patterns of US industrial research: Mimetic isomorphism and the emergence of geographic charisma

Book or journal references : Regional Studies, vol. 39, pp. 17-39 (2005).

Author(s) : Appold , S. J.

Abstract :

The emergence of new industrial spaces over the past several decades that have radically altered the economic geography of the USA raises questions about the mechanisms responsible for their formation. Existing theories predict either continued concentration or spatial dispersion; none predicts the rise of new geographic agglomerations of establishments. A behavioural theory of agglomeration formation explains the emergence of regionally dispersed, local agglomerations by means of mimetic behaviour. A method for detecting social influence in cross-sectional data is applied to data on the 1985 locations by county of over 10000 privately owned research laboratories to show that the theoretical model accurately reproduces a key aspect of the existing spatial pattern. The results suggest that laboratories are, to a significant extent, reacting to each other's actions, creating symbolic, rather than functional, communities and that the locus of power determining local growth is diffused among location decision-makers.


Keywords :

research and development (R&D); urban agglomeration; geographic charisma; learning theory RESEARCH-AND-DEVELOPMENT; AGGLOMERATION ECONOMIES; GROWTH; DETERMINANTS; LOCALIZATION; SPILLOVERS; INNOVATION; CULTURE; CITIES; MATTER

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