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Clusters: Determinants and Effects

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  • Alex Hoen

Abstract

This memorandum surveys the empirical literature about the effects and determinants of clusters. It finds that clusters generally lead to more innovations, knowledge spillovers, faster diffusion of technologies and knowledge, and competitive advantages. The presence of a skilled labour force is the most important determinant for clusters. Other important factors for the existence of clusters are economies of scale and scope, knowledge spillovers, and competition from foreign competitors. Clusters appear to be especially important for small firms. Surprisingly, there is relatively little cooperation between these firms. Even though clusters are generally located near a knowledge institution, there is also relatively little cooperation between the cluster and the knowledge institution. Since clusters need skilled labour and competition, a good cluster policy may be no cluster policy at all. Instead, the government should look after an education system that produces a highly educated and skilled workforce, and stimulate competition by (further) opening markets to foreign competitors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Memorandum with number 17.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:memodm:17

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  1. Audretsch, David B & Vivarelli, Marco, 1994. "Small Firms and R&D Spillovers: Evidence from Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Buiren, K. & Brouwer, E., 2010. "Determinants of State Aid," Discussion Paper 2010-005, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  3. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  4. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Market Access, Economic Geography and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1850, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1995. "Innovative Clusters and the Industry Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1161, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Hagedoorn, John & Link, Albert N. & Vonortas, Nicholas S., 2000. "Research partnerships1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 567-586, April.
  7. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Davis, Donald R. & Weinstein, David E., 2003. "Market access, economic geography and comparative advantage: an empirical test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23, January.
  9. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  10. Alex R. Hoen, 2001. "An International Comparison of National Clusters," ERSA conference papers ersa01p27, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Rolf Weder & Herbert Grubel, 1993. "The New Growth Theory and Coasean economics: Institutions to capture externalities," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 488-513, September.
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  13. Egbert Wever & Erik Stam, 1999. "Clusters of High Technology SMEs: The Dutch Case," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 391-400.
  14. Mansfield, Edwin, et al, 1977. "Social and Private Rates of Return from Industrial Innovations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 221-40, May.
  15. Jeroen de Jong & Brouwer, 1999. "Determinants of the innovative ability of SMEs," Scales Research Reports B199902, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  16. Baptista, Rui & Swann, Peter, 1998. "Do firms in clusters innovate more?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 525-540, September.
  17. Arnoud Muizer & Arnoud Muizer & Gert Jan Hospers & Gert Jan Hospers, 2000. "SMEs in regional industry clusters," Scales Research Reports B199904, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  18. Dick Snel & Henriëtte Hulshoff, 1998. "Technologische samenwerking in de industrie en de zakelijke diensten," Scales Research Reports A199809, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  19. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Baptista, Rui, 2000. "Do innovations diffuse faster within geographical clusters?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 515-535, April.
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Cited by:
  1. van der Panne, G. & Dolfsma, W.A., 2002. "The Odd Role Of Proximity In Knowledge Relations - High-Tech In The Netherlands," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-75-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  2. Maria Nowicka-Skowron & Piotr Pachura, 2010. "Theory Of Innovation In Spatial Perspective," Polish Journal of Management Studies, Czestochowa Technical University, Department of Management, vol. 1(1), pages 111-118, May.
  3. Robles Teigeiro, Luis & Ramos Carvajal, Carmen, 2007. "Una propuesta metodológica para la identificación y evaluación de clusters a partir de tablas Input-Output. Una aplicación para Andalucía/A Methodological Proposal for Getting the Sectorial Clust," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 759-790, Diciembre.
  4. Gerben Panne, van der & Wilfred Dolfsma, 2003. "The Geography of Innovativeness - New product announcements in The Netherlands," ERSA conference papers ersa03p334, European Regional Science Association.

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