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Maija Halonen, Juha Kotilainen, Markku Tykkyläinen and Eero Vatanen


The article aims to show how local industry life cycles impact the development of Finnish resource-based rural towns. This study reveals five long-term and overlapping industry cycles which were based on natural resources, assembly industries and service production. In general, the cycles have shortened over time. Transitions from cycle to cycle were enabled by the phases of resilience, which were highly dependent on political and economic processes at different scales. However, the political interventions of the last decades were unable to compensate for the disadvantages in competitiveness of this remote area and lay sustainable foundations for new industries. In the long run, the only exception has been the forest-related processing industry which has a capacity to renew its own operations and adapt to changing market situations. The results demonstrate the high significance of absolute advantage in rural development