Neo-Marshallian nodes, institutional thickness, and Britain's `Motor Sport Valley': thick or thin?

Nick Henry, Steven Pinch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)


The authors consider the insights into the concept of institutional thickness provided by the industrial cluster located in southern England commonly referred to as `Motor Sport Valley'. It is argued that, although Amin and Thrift's original formulation of the concept of institutional thickness was comprehensive in scope, subsequent debate has focused around a somewhat restricted
definition - essentially that of overt regionally based public, or quasi-public, institutions. The success of Motor Sport Valley in the absence of such infrastructure points to other sources of institutional strength and highlights the fact that all economic systems are constituted and mediated through a
variety of types of institutional structure. The crucial issue when considering economic development, therefore, is not whether economically successful regions contain sources of institutional thickness, but rather the precise nature of the institutions in the area (and those influencing it from the outside)
and their relationship with economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1183
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2001

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