Theoretical evolution of growth poles and clusters analysis: Analytical divergences and convergences

Dimos Chatzinikolaou, Charis Vlados

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The theories of growth poles and clusters occupy a prominent position in the debate of regional development and underdevelopment. This article aims to identify focal points of the concept of growth poles and the analytical model of clusters by trying to distinguish differences as well as prospects for future analytical convergence based on recent developments in the field of spatial socio-economic sciences. To achieve this goal, we classify about ten foundational publications and another ten recent contributions to growth poles, along with corresponding publications on the clusters concept.
We analyse the evolution of the theoretical perspective and recent developments of growth poles theory and practice in conjunction with the most disseminated ideas of the clusters concept and recent theoretical trends. Some of the main findings are that growth poles remain within the boundaries of economic geography, while clusters/industrial districts withhold a multidisciplinary perspective. Clusters analyses are heading towards a growing study of micro-dynamics, which is not the case in the growth poles, which are limited to the meso domain of analysis (industry, region). These observations help to figure out whether there are opportunities and possibilities for synthesising these two analytical perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Applied Business and Economics (ICABE) 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Conference on Applied Business and Economics - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 21 Oct 201923 Oct 2019


ConferenceInternational Conference on Applied Business and Economics
Internet address


  • growth poles
  • clusters
  • socio-economic development
  • spatial sciences
  • micro- level analysis


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