Regional Clusters and
The Norwegian Case

Arne Isaksen

Studies in Innovation, Research and Education


This report is a slightly revised version of a paper presented at the 9th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research at Lillehammer 29-31 May 1996. The report will be published in European Planning Studies, Vol. 5, no. 1. 1997.

The report examines some of the assertions reported in the international literature on regional clusters of small and medium sized firms, namely that such clusters often experience job growth and are internationally competitive. While these assertions are based mainly on case studies of various industrial districts and other types of regional clusters, this report will analyse statistical material to see whether similar trends can be observed in Norway between 1970 and 1990. Thus, the report will identify different kinds of regional clusters in Norway in 1990, as well as employment trends in the clusters between 1970 and 1990. Questions to be considered are: do the regional clusters in, for instance, the furniture industry or the electronics industry in Norway, experience relatively larger job growth than the average in these industries? The analysis indicates that regional clusters generally are internationally competitive and also reveals that regional clusters in Norway, with some important exceptions, experience a positive trend in employment compared with corresponding sectors nation-wide.

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Regional Clusters and Competitiveness:
The Norwegian Case

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