Path creation in a single-industry town: The case of Verdal and Windcluster Mid-Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. 2014, 68 (2), 133-143. 10.1080/00291951.2014.894564
Path creation is a new topic in economic geography and stems from the debate on path dependence. The article fills a gap in the path creation literature by exploring old and new path trajectories in a ‘constraining context’, namely a single-industry town. The authors analyse the development of this local system in an evolutionary perspective. Empirical data are drawn from a case study of the specialized offshore oil and gas industry town of Verdal in Central Norway. Two exogenous shocks to this local economy and the responses they provoked are pivotal to the analysis. The first shock led to upgrading and diversification effects. The second shock led to the attempted path creation discussed in the article: the initiative to develop Windcluster Mid-Norway (WMN), which was a response to the downturn in the oil and gas industry and simultaneous expectations of growth in the wind-energy sector. The explicit aim was to combine resources from both sectors. The authors argue that new path creation in single-industry regions differs from the related context of ‘old industry regions’ and that exogenous shocks and external support are necessary elements in the process.