Theorizing the economic geography of emerging industries from an institutional perspective

Authors: Huiwen Gong, Kiel University, Christian Binz, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Robert Hassink*, Kiel University, Michaela Trippl, University of Vienna
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: emerging industries, economic geography, institutional perspective, theory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Blue Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In recent decades, the emergence of internet-related, biotechnology-based and ‘green’ industries has catalyzed significant economic development in regions, nations and globally and have hence received increased attention both among academic researchers and policy-makers. While existing evolutionary, institutional and organizational ecology approaches have provided insights into the mechanisms of new industry emergence, a range of significant questions remain unanswered, particularly concerning the institutional contexts in which new industries form. Newly emerging industries, such as car sharing, renewable energy or personalized medicine, namely fundamentally challenge taken-for granted regulations, norms, and cultural beliefs. Based on a literature review, this paper therefore aims at theorizing the emergence of new industries from such an institutional perspective at several spatial scales (regional, national, global). We identify four key theoretical building blocks for understanding the economic geographies of emerging industries from an institutional perspective, namely legitimacy, advocates, windows of opportunity and spaces of emergence. Based on and related to these building blocks we provide questions for future research on the economic geographies of emerging industries.

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