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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

Related research

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

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References

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  1. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  2. 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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  5. Andrea Morrison, 2004. "Gatekeepers of knowledge within industrial districts:who they are, how they interact," KITeS Working Papers 163, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2004.
  6. Lynn Mytelka, 2000. "Local Systems Of Innovation In A Globalized World Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 15-32.
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  8. Schmitz, Hubert & Nadvi, Khalid, 1999. "Clustering and Industrialization: Introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1503-1514, September.
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  10. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2000. "Returns to Social Network Capital among Traders," Development Working Papers 145, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  11. 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.
  12. Mourad Dakhli & Dirk De Clercq, 2004. "Human capital, social capital, and innovation: a multi-country study," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 107-128, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  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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