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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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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. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon, 2011. "The identification of agglomeration economies," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 253-266, March.
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  7. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Beugelsdijk,Sjoerd & Brakman,Steven & Garretsen,Harry & Marrewijk,Charles van, 2013. "International Economics and Business," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107654167, April.
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  10. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2002. "Deconstructing Clusters: Chaotic Concept or Policy Panacea," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp244, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
  11. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2010. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 15-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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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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