The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Charlie Karlsson
Reference work entry


It is a fundamental structural characteristic of industrial economies that economic activities tend to co-locate, i.e. cluster in space. The study of clusters and clustering is today an integral part of many undergraduate and postgraduate studies in business administration, economics, economic geography, and urban and regional planning as well as a topic of research in these disciplines. At the same time, we can observe many governments at different levels in industrialized countries that have initiated cluster studies and introduced policies aiming at supporting existing clusters and stimulating the emergence of new clusters. The success of these policies has varied substantially but cluster policies seem to have become an integral part of the industrial and regional policies in industrialized countries.


Co-location Agglomeration Functional region Cluster policy 

JEL Classification

L26 L52 O12 O18 O25 R11 R12 R58 
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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlie Karlsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Jὂnkὂping UniversityJonkopingSweden