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date: 16 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Industrial hubs are at the centre of economic development. However, the literature on industrial hubs is fragmented and characterized by diverse conceptual and methodological approaches. This chapter provides a synopsis of the literature on the theory and practice of industrial hubs and economic development drawn from various intellectual traditions. The chapter also reviews key themes drawn from structuralist development economics, with a special focus on industrial policy, structural transformation, and catch-up. The first section of this chapter provides an outline of the key approaches and issues. The second section discusses historical perspectives on industrial hubs and economic agglomeration starting from the early days of the first industrial revolution. The third section examines issues rooted in structural transformation and economic catch-up, and the connection between cluster dynamics and industrial policy framework. The fourth section maps empirical perspectives behind uneven global practices and outcomes, and on how industrial hubs can synergize industrialization and technological catch-up. The fifth section presents empirical synthesis and concluding notes.

Keywords: literature review, industrial hubs, structural transformation, economic catch-up, industrialization, industrial policy, agglomeration economies, industrial districts, export-processing zones, special economic zones

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