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Urban Patterns of Growth

The Geography of Suppliers of High-Tech Companies in the Nordic Countries

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Urban Patterns of Growth was carried out for the preparation of the Nordic regional policy co-operation programme 2013-2016 and national regional policies in the Nordic countries. A key issue is the concentration of economic growth in the largest cities. This is favored by urbanization economies but also by the forming of specialized international networks of innovation and production established far beyond regional and national borders. Much research has focused upon these new global networks, leaving behind the question of the national spreading effects of the production that has not been outsourced. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to elucidate, via case studies, the extent to which the purchases of supplies and services from knowledge firms are located in proximity of the company or whether these purchases have spread to the remaining part of the country.

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Theoretical Framework

Recent decades have seen a major transformation and restructuring of the economic geography of the Nordic countries, due mainly to globalisation, the rise of the knowledge economy and the concentration of growth in the large urban areas. Globalisation processes have transformed the economies of the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe through, for instance, increased price competition from the low-wage countries, the expansion of new markets and stronger competition among global and local firms. As a result, many firms in Europe and the Nordic countries have increased their focus on innovation, as the competiveness of firms depends on their ability to innovate and improve their productivity through process improvement, new forms of organisation, increased product quality or producing new products (David & Foray, 2002). Knowledge is fundamental to innovation, and hence, the rise of the knowledge economy, e.g. an economy that is based on the production, distribution and use of know-how, has become a major constituent of the modern European economy.

English

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