Clusters, Local Districts, and Innovative Milieux

  • Michaela TripplEmail author
  • Edward M. Bergman
Living reference work entry


Over the last three decades, literature on industrial districts, innovative milieus, and industrial clusters has enriched our knowledge about endogenous factors and processes driving regional development and the role of the region as an important level of economic coordination. This class of stylized development concepts has emerged since the 1970s and attempts to account for successful regional adaptations to changes in the global economic environment. Each of these concepts grew out of specific inquiries into the causes of economic success to be found in the midst of general decline by building upon the early ideas of Alfred Marshall in several ways. Neo-Marshallian districts found in Italy highlight the importance of small firms supported by strong family and local ties, while the innovative milieu concept places great emphasis on the network structure of institutions to diffuse externally sourced innovations to the local economy. Clusters have become far more general in scope, fruitful in theoretical insights, and robust in application, informing the work of both academics and policy-makers around the world.


Small firm Knowledge spillover Industrial district Industrial cluster External economy 


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Regional ResearchUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute for Multi-Level Governance and DevelopmentVienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria

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