This paper investigates the role of human agency in 40 phases of regional economic development in 12 Nordic regions over 30 years. It contributes with a theoretical framework to study agency over time and a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis based on a unique dataset combining over 200 interviews, with printed and online sources, and quantitative data. The paper identifies which combinations of agency types and context conditions make industrial upgrading or diversification possible, and investigates how such combinations come into being. The causal claims from this analysis are illustrated with empirical examples and discussed in relation to previous literature.
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