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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter the concept of ecosystems as applied to economic geography is reviewed. It is argued that economic systems taking the metaphor of the ecosystem more literally than has been done in the past may advance understanding of economic systems at the regional scale are, literally, ecosystems. An ecosystem is defined as a dynamically stable network of interconnected firms and institutions within bounded geographical space. It is proposed that representing regional economic networks as ‘ecosystems’ provides analytical structure and depth to theories of the sources of regional advantage, the role of entrepreneurs in regional development, and the determinants of resilience in regional economic systems. The chapter frames regional economic change in terms of ecosystem dynamics, with reference to ecologically derived concepts of succession, speciation, diversity, resilience, and adaptation.

Keywords: Economic ecosystem, ecosystem dynamics, succession, speciation, diversity, resilience, adaptation

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