Revisiting Marshall's Agglomeration Economies: Technological Relatedness and the Evolution of the Sheffield Metals Cluster

Antony Potter, Doug H Watts (Collaborator)

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Abstract

According to Alfred Marshall, firms receive increasing returns from a trinity of agglomeration economies: a local pool of skilled labour, local supplier linkages and local knowledge spillovers. This article re-examines the mechanisms underlying Marshall’s agglomeration economies in the Sheffield metals cluster wherein Marshall discovered them. Despite the cluster’s decline, empirical evidence is found that the mechanisms underlying Marshallian agglomeration economies continue to occur within the surviving metals industry. However, upon closer examination, Marshallian agglomeration economies have evolved to become more prevalent amongst plants that use related metals technology. The results highlight the importance of technological relatedness to cluster survival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-623
JournalRegional Studies
Volume48
Issue number[ABS 3 Journal]
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2012

Keywords

  • Technological relatedness, Agglomeration economies, Cluster, Industrial district, Alfred Marshall

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