A Life Cycle for Clusters?

The Dynamics of Agglomeration, Change, and Adaption

  • Kerstin Press

Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. The rationale for studying cluster dynamics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Literature review — The benefits of co-location

  4. Towards a complexity perspective on clusters

  5. Model development — Clusters as complex adaptive systems

  6. Division of labour, co-ordination and cluster adaptation

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 175-246

About this book


The phenomenon of non-random spatial concentrations of firms in one or few related sectors (clusters) is intensively debated in economic theory and policy. The euphoria about successful clusters however neglects that historically, many thriving clusters did deteriorate into old industrial areas. This book studies the determinants of cluster survival by analyzing their adaptability to change in the economic environment. Linking theoretic knowledge with empirical observations, a simulation model (based in the N/K method) is developed, which explains when and why the cluster's architecture assists or hampers adaptability. It is found that architectures with intermediate degrees of division of labour and more collective governance forms foster adaptability. Cluster development is thus path dependent as architectures having evolved over time impact on the likelihood of future survival.


Adaptation Cluster Clusters Complex Systems N/K Model Simulation Modelling development

Authors and affiliations

  • Kerstin Press
    • 1
  1. 1.D-MTECETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information