Is There an End to the Concentration of Businesses and People?

There is extensive literature describing the mechanisms of economic growth, which has tended to occur in big cities. The emergence of knowledge economies has enhanced the importance of human capital—the success of companies is increasingly dependent on employees’ ability to transform their knowledge and skills into new products that can satisfy rapidly changing demand from all over the world. This transformation of the economy creates major challenges for regions that do not have large, well-educated populations. Will rural areas stand a chance against the centripetal forces of agglomeration economies? This issue is addressed by focusing attention on a number of successful, forest-related companies running their operations far from metropolitan Sweden. This presentation is accompanied by a theoretical discussion that challenges the urban assumption.