The Danish furniture industry is exceptional by its export intensity and degree of internationalisation (post-2000 over 80% of income is from exports). We test the 'localised learning' theory in which it is proposed that knowledge transfer within clusters of firms explains the achievement of the exceptional export intensity of this industry. We propose a more plausible path dependent explanation in which an early and exceptional international marketing effort created demand-induced growth and internationalisation of this manufacturing industry. Thereafter the industry proved able to substitute new international markets for declining markets. We examine the evolution of the industry post- World War Two by means of original statistical and interview data but pay particular attention to the extensive restructuring of the industry since the 1990s. The most important finding of fact is that today ten large firms account for more than 50% of industry turnover. Manufacture is not the major activity of most of these firms, they are not 'clustered' in the manner of the craft manufacturers and they deny having economically beneficial relations to other firms in the craft manufacturing region.
cluster, furniture, export intensity,
Main Research Area:
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics 'Capitalism in Crisis', 2009