This introductory essay of the Special Issue honoring Steven Klepper provides a synthesis of his work, and places the articles of the Special Issue within the context of his scholarship. Steven Klepper’s pioneering work linked life cycle patterns in industry evolution to underlying micro-level firm innovation dynamics and employee entrepreneurship, and to the macro-level implications regarding geographical agglomeration and the growth of economies. Taken together, the lifetime of Klepper’s research provides an integrated account of the key industrial mechanisms at work, and also sets the stage for future research, as is elaborated in individual contributions to the Special Issue.

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