Taiwan’s Industrial Districts and Economic Development

Douglas B. Fuller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter considers the development of four important Taiwanese industrial clusters: Bicycles, machine tools, integrated circuits (ICs), and information and communication technologies (ICT) hardware. Three of these clusters grew out of the networked production of Taiwan’s rural industrialization process. The exception was the IC industry, which was created by the state in light of private capital’s reluctance to invest. While the IC industry did not originate out of local networks of industrial production, it did draw on networks of Taiwanese technologists abroad to develop. All four industries shared the common feature of state-supported institutions to diffuse technology to local firms. The industrial clusters that have proved sustainable are either characterized by relational value chains supported by government technical institutions (bicycles and machine tools) or modular value chains where Taiwan was able to enter high-value segments early in its cluster development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Industrial Hubs and Economic Development
EditorsArkebe Oqubay, Justin Yifu Lin
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9780198850434
ISBN (Electronic)9780191885518
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
SeriesOxford Handbooks


  • Taiwan
  • Bicycles
  • Machine tools
  • Integrated circuits
  • ICT
  • Global value chain
  • Upgrading
  • Rural industrialization

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