Continuing the Conversation: Where Do Clusters Come From?Dec 23


Where Do Clusters Come From?

Economic clustering, or the theory that industries or segments of industries agglomerate around certain locations, is as novel an idea as it is ambiguous. In particular, the empirical evidence supporting clustering lacks in universal applicability, as scholars and businessmen attempt to explain the genesis of many regions in parochial terms incapable of replication–such as the birth of Hollywood or Wall Street. But is clustering, and in general economic development, more than just the random, unpredictable rise and fall of cities and communities? Or does a complete theory of clustering involve common variables that may be targeted across regions, regardless of economic status or other constraints?

Brett Staron leads GCG in an exploration of where clusters come from in this Catalyst Conversation.

The roundtable discussion identified what has been the traditional role of government in economic development and how does this paradigm shift with the clustering approach and where did Wall Street, Hollywood, or Silicon Valley come from. GCG also discussed if clusters more amenable to new industry versus existing industry.

Other guiding questions included:

  • What have been some of the common academic or educational variables leading to clusters around the world?
  • Why do smart people move to “smart” cities?
  • What would a workable model of economic development achieved through clustering driven external preconditions (land, location, climate, etc) look like?
  • What is the role of entrepreneurs in catalyzing clustering?

Please login for the supporting material and the full conversation.

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