In this paper the density dependence model, which was developed in organizational ecology, is compared to the economic-geographical notion of agglomeration economies. There is a basic resemblance: both involve some form of positive feedback between size of the population and growth. The paper explores how the theoretical concepts compare to each other, and if an interdisciplinary cross-fertilization between both is fruitful. It is found that there are a number of important similarities in the underlying theories. These refer to the process of legitimation, which has some close similarities to concepts derived from theories of new industrial districts, such as social capital, institutional thickness, and innovative milieux. Differences remain important as well. For instance, the sociological interpretation of competition is not transferable into notions of agglomeration economies. An important conclusion is that agglomeration effects can and should be incorporated into the density dependence model.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 2, 2004
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