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Reflections on cluster policies

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  • Steven Brakman
  • Charles van Marrewijk

Abstract

Economic activity tends to cluster. This results in productivity gains. For policy makers this offers an opportunity to formulate and promote policies that foster clustering of economic activity. Paradoxically, although agglomeration rents are often found in empirical research, a rationale for cluster policies does not exist. A brief tour through the literature shows that cluster policies face more problems than is often assumed in policy circles. We reflect on the main issues at stake and conclude that, if not carefully applied, cluster policy may do more harm than good. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge Political Economy Society in its journal Cambridge Journal Of Regions, Economy And Society.

Volume (Year): 6 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 217-231

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cjrecs:v:6:y:2013:i:2:p:217-231

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  1. Richard E. Baldwin & Frederic Robert-Nicoud, 2002. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," NBER Working Papers 8756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
  4. Anthony Briant & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2008. "Dots to boxes: Do the size and shape of spatial units jeopardize economic geography estimations?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586029, HAL.
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  6. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
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  8. Diego Puga, 2009. "The magnitude and causes of agglomeration economies," Working Papers 2009-09, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  9. Fabrizio Barca & Philip McCann & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2011. "The case for regional development intervention: Place-based versus place-neutral approaches," Working Papers 2011-15, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
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  11. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
  13. Timothy Sturgeon & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Gary Gereffi, 2008. "Value chains, networks and clusters: reframing the global automotive industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 297-321, May.
  14. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2008. "Agglomeration and Hours Worked," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 105-118, February.
  15. Gilles Duranton, 2007. "Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 197-221, March.
  16. Beugelsdijk,Sjoerd & Brakman,Steven & Garretsen,Harry & Marrewijk,Charles van, 2013. "International Economics and Business," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107654167, October.
  17. Guido de Blasio & Sabrina Di Addario, 2005. "Do Workers Benefit from Industrial Agglomeration?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 797-827.
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Cited by:
  1. Jan Kluge & Robert Lehmann, 2013. "Marshall or Jacobs? New insights from an interaction model," Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 107-133, October.
  2. Cappenberg, Christina, 2013. "Staatliche Förderung regionaler Unternehmensnetzwerke: Legitimation nationaler Clusterpolitik," Arbeitspapiere 140, Westfälsche Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU), Institut für Genossenschaftswesen.

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