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Urban Patterns of Growth

The Geography of Suppliers of High-Tech Companies in the Nordic Countries

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Urban Patterns of Growth was carried out for the preparation of the Nordic regional policy co-operation programme 2013-2016 and national regional policies in the Nordic countries. A key issue is the concentration of economic growth in the largest cities. This is favored by urbanization economies but also by the forming of specialized international networks of innovation and production established far beyond regional and national borders. Much research has focused upon these new global networks, leaving behind the question of the national spreading effects of the production that has not been outsourced. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to elucidate, via case studies, the extent to which the purchases of supplies and services from knowledge firms are located in proximity of the company or whether these purchases have spread to the remaining part of the country.

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Selection of the case study companies

For the identification of suitable case study companies meeting the criteria set of the wider URAGO research framework, several different company registers were utilized. It turned out that the number of companies satisfying all of the criteria was very limited in eastern Finland. The most demanding criteria to fulfill were company size (over 50 employees) and its growth history (more than 10 years of growth). In eastern Finland, a typical high and medium technology company is a small firm employing less than 10 persons. The global economic crisis has also led to a decrease in the number of employees in 2009 to 2010.

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