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Aerospace Clusters: Local or Global Knowledge Spillovers?


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  • Jorge Niosi
  • Majlinda Zhegu


The literature about regional innovation systems, clusters and industrial districts insists on the importance of local knowledge spillovers. Nevertheless, more recently a few authors have put in question the importance of local knowledge spillovers. This paper provides an analysis of some of the most dynamic aerospace clusters in the world, located in Montreal, Seattle, Toulouse and Toronto. We start by discussing theories of clustering, then provide research questions as well as empirical evidence on the international nature of knowledge spillovers. Local knowledge spillovers are less significant, of a different nature, and they may make a scanty contribution to explain the geographical agglomeration of firms. Conversely, international spillovers help to explain the relative dispersion of industry across nations. Resilient geographical clustering is related to the anchor tenant effects as creators of labour pools and owners of very large manufacturing plants creating regional inertia. We thus reject the local knowledge spillover explanation of aerospace clusters in favour of another one based on anchor firms and their effects on the local labour pool.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Industry and Innovation.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 5-29

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Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:12:y:2005:i:1:p:5-29

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Keywords: Aerospace; aircraft; industrial clusters; industrial districts; internationalization; regional innovation systems;


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  1. repec:hig:journl:v:6:y:2012:i:1:p:26-36 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Francesco Losurdo & Valeria Stragapede, 2011. "Could the aeronautics-aerospace industry renovate the 'poles of growth' model as a path of local development?," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1514, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Rebolledo, Claudia & Nollet, Jean, 2011. "Learning from suppliers in the aerospace industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 129(2), pages 328-337, February.
  4. Tomlinson, Philip R., 2010. "Co-operative ties and innovation: Some new evidence for UK manufacturing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 762-775, July.
  5. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2009. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0915, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Oct 2009.
  6. Salvetat, David & Géraudel, Mickaël, 2012. "The tertius roles in a coopetitive context: The case of the European aeronautical and aerospace engineering sector," European Management Journal, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 603-614.
  7. Richard Harris, 2011. "Models Of Regional Growth: Past, Present And Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 913-951, December.
  8. David Smith & Gamal Ibrahim, 2006. "Cluster Dynamics: Corporate Strategy, Industry Evolution and Technology Trajectories -- A Case Study of the East Midlands Aerospace Cluster," Local Economy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 362-377, November.
  9. Evgeniy Kutsenko & Dirk Meissner, 2013. "Key Features Of The First Phase Of The National Cluster Program In Russia," HSE Working papers, National Research University Higher School of Economics WP BRP 11/STI/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  10. Jean Guinet & Dirk Meissner, 2012. "Open Innovation: Implications for Corporate Strategies, Government Policy and International R&D Spillovers," Foresight-Russia, National Research University Higher School of Economics, National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 6(1), pages 26-36.
  11. Vertesy, Daniel & Szirmai, Adam, 2010. "Interrupted innovation: Innovation system dynamics in latecomer aerospace industries," MERIT Working Papers 059, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  12. Mickael Benaim & Jean-Alain Héraud & Valérie Mérindol & Jean-Paul Villette, 2014. "Scientific connectivity of European regions: towards a typology of cooperative schèmes," Working Papers of BETA 2014-13, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  13. Richard Harris & Victoria Kravtsova, 2009. "In Search of W," SERC Discussion Papers, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE 0017, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  14. repec:hig:wpaper:wp-brp-11-sti-2013 is not listed on IDEAS


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