Where are the economic development cores of East Germany? Results of a survey of the focuses of branches, enterprise networks and innovative competence fields in the East German Regions

The contribution presents the results of an empirical study conducted by the Halle Institute for Economic Research on behalf of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning. The study concerns the identification of “regional clusters” for all spatial planning regions in East Germany. As criteria to identify clusters, three components were taken into consideration: spatially concentrated industries, enterprise networks and innovative competence fields, whereas, for the purpose of identifying “clusters”, the networks and innovative competences have to show a co-incidence with the industry which is spatially concentrated. Cases of co-incidence of all three elements were categorised as economic development cores (or spots), i. e. as forms of spatially concentrated economic activities which show cluster-relevant qualities. For regions which possess economic development spots, the growth perspectives can be expected as more favourable in comparison with other regions. The findings show a particularly high concentration of economic development spots in the Berlin region as well as in the Federal States of Saxony and Thuringia, where the cities of Dresden, Leipzig, Erfurt and Chemnitz form delineating points within which a particularly high number of economic development spots are existent. As a consequence, the study might initiate a debate in favour of a stronger spatial concentration of regional policy measures instead of spreading the resources by “watering can principle”.

27. October 2006

Authors Peter Franz Gerhard Heimpold Martin T. W. Rosenfeld

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