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Neo-Marshallian nodes, institutional thickness, and Britain's 'Motor Sport Valley': Thick or thin?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Henry


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The authors consider the insights into the concept of institutional thickness provided by the industrial cluster located in southern England commonly referred to as 'Motor Sport Valley'. It is argued that, although Amin and Thrift's original formulation of the concept of institutional thickness was comprehensive in scope, subsequent debate has focused around a somewhat restricted definition-essentially that of overt regionally based public, or quasi-public, institutions. The success of Motor Sport Valley in the absence of such infrastructure points to other sources of institutional strength and highlights the fact that all economic systems are constituted and mediated through a variety of types of institutional structure. The crucial issue when considering economic development, therefore, is not whether economically successful regions contain sources of institutional thickness, but rather the precise nature of the institutions in the area (and those influencing it from the outside) and their relationship with economic growth.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Henry N, Pinch S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 2001

Volume: 33

Issue: 7

Pages: 1169-1183

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/a32184


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