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The Ambivalent Role of Mimetic Behaviors in Proximity Dynamics: Evidences on the French “Silicon Sentier”

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  • Jérome VICENTE (LEREPS-GRES)
  • Yan Dalla PRIA (CSO – CNRS)
  • Raphaël SUIRE (CREM – CNRS)

Abstract

This articles examines the peculiar role of mimetic behaviors in co-location processes. We start showing that geographical proximity between agents and/or firms is not a sufficient nor necessary condition for the collective performance of clusters. Other types of socio-economic proximities characterize clusters, and our purpose is to show that, among the several ways to analyze the complex links between proximities and clusters, the theoretical outlook on the role played by mimetic interactions in co-location processes are certainly one of the most promising. Mimetic behaviors of location (in economics and sociology) are introduced in order to demonstrate that co-location processes can be the result of sequentiality, uncertainty, legitimacy and non market interactions, rather than full rational and isolated decisions and pure strategic market interactions. According to the type of mimetic behavior at work in the clustering process, the nature of socio-economic proximity can differ and have a strong influence of the “evolutionary stability” of clusters. All these theoretical considerations are illustrated through the emblematic French case of “Silicon Sentier”, cluster which has gathered together three hundred firms of the French net-economy (the famous “dotcom”) during the Internet bubble swelling.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales in its series Cahiers du GRES with number 2006-02.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:grs:wpegrs:2006-02

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Web page: http://gres.u-bordeaux4.fr/
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Keywords: cluster; mimetic interactions; proximity; stability; Silicon Sentier;

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  1. Allen J. Scott, 2004. "A Perspective of Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(5), pages 479-499, November.
  2. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "Models of Technology Diffusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2001. "Knowledge spillovers and local innovation systems: a critical survey," LIUC Papers in Economics 84, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
  5. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1998. "Miracle on Sixth Avenue: Information Externalities and Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 60-74, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Ron A. Boschma & Jan G. Lambooy, 1999. "Evolutionary economics and economic geography," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 411-429.
  8. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
  9. Quah, Danny, 2000. "Internet cluster emergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1032-1044, May.
  10. Andr Torre Shaw & Jean-Pierre Gilly, 2000. "On the Analytical Dimension of Proximity Dynamics," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 169-180.
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Cited by:
  1. Raphael Suire & Jérome Vicente, 2009. "Why do some places succeed when others decline? A social interaction model of cluster viability," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 381-404, May.

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