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Innovation Performance and Embeddedness in Networks: Evidence from the Ethiopian Footwear Cluster

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  • Gebreeyesus, Mulu
  • Mohnen, Pierre

Abstract

This study focuses on innovation in a cluster of informal shoemaking firms in Ethiopia—namely the Mercato footwear cluster. It examines how differently those firms are embedded in networks and how heterogeneous they are in absorptive capacity, and how this heterogeneity affects their innovation performance. Business networks are the major channels through which knowledge flows into the cluster. The study reveals that despite geographical proximity and homogeneity in social background the firms in the cluster behave and perform differently. Based on econometric analysis we document a positive and strong effect of local network position and absorptive capacity on innovation performance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 302-316

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:41:y:2013:i:c:p:302-316

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: industrial clusters; innovation performance; networks; informal sector; Africa; Ethiopia;

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References

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  1. Lynn Mytelka, 2000. "Local Systems Of Innovation In A Globalized World Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 15-32.
  2. Giuliani, Elisa & Bell, Martin, 2005. "The micro-determinants of meso-level learning and innovation: evidence from a Chilean wine cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-68, February.
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  7. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
  8. Mccormick, Dorothy, 1999. "African Enterprise Clusters and Industrialization: Theory and Reality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1531-1551, September.
  9. Leon Oerlemans & Marius Meeus, 2005. "Do Organizational and Spatial Proximity Impact on Firm Performance?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 89-104.
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  12. Schmitz, Hubert & Nadvi, Khalid, 1999. "Clustering and Industrialization: Introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1503-1514, September.
  13. Gebreeyesus, Mulu, 2009. "Innovation and Microenterprises Growth in Ethiopia," MERIT Working Papers 053, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  14. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
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  16. Ganeshan Wignaraja, 2002. "Firm Size, Technological Capabilities and Market-oriented Policies in Mauritius," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 87-104.
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  18. Schmitz, Hubert, 1999. "Global Competition and Local Cooperation: Success and Failure in the Sinos Valley, Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1627-1650, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Szirmai, Adam & Gebreeyesus, Mulu & Guadagno, Francesca & Verspagen, Bart, 2013. "Promoting productive employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review of the literature," MERIT Working Papers 062, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Iizuka, Michiko, 2013. "Innovation systems framework: still useful in the new global context?," MERIT Working Papers 005, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. NAKABAYASHI, Masaki, 2013. "Honesty, Diligence, and Skill: Risk Sharing and Specialization in the Kiryu Silk Weaving Cluster, Japan," ISS Discussion Paper Series (series F) f166, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo, revised 03 Jun 2014.

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