Title: Quantitative assessments of the spatial distribution of business clusters in Ireland

Authors: Walter Foley; Harutyun Shahumyan; Brendan Williams

Addresses: Deceased; formerly of: Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, Ireland ' University College Dublin (UCD), Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland ' University College Dublin (UCD), Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Abstract: This research aims to provide a robust evidence base contributing to improving the quality of policy formation from local to national level in Ireland. The distributions of businesses within key economic sectors in Ireland are explored aiming to find clustering effects occurring across the country. The density mapping and hot spot analysis approaches were applied to find statistically significant clusters of companies for specific business sectors. The research was implemented in collaboration with Dublin Regional Authority and Dublin City Council to inform key policy makers in Ireland. It assists in the assessments of the nationwide spatial distribution of economic activities adding to the overall body of evidence on business intensive regions. The results show the continued statistically proven significance of the main urban growth centres or gateways as key centres for the main business sectors in Ireland, while public policy has prioritised rebalancing economic development to other regions.

Keywords: cluster analysis; spatial clusters; hot spots; business clusters; economic activities; decision making; GIS; Ireland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIDM.2017.085090

International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining, 2017 Vol.12 No.3, pp.211 - 235

Received: 10 Feb 2016
Accepted: 30 Aug 2016

Published online: 10 Jul 2017 *

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