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The Economic Performance of Clustered and Non Clustered Firms along the different Phases of the Cluster Life Cycle: The Portuguese Cork Industry Case

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Author Info

  • Amélia Branco
  • João Carlos Lopes

Abstract

This paper is about the relative economic performance of clustered and non-clustered companies in the different phases of the cluster life cycle. It starts with the explanation of a puzzling localization behaviour, namely that most of the Portuguese cork manufacturing firms are concentrated in Santa Maria da Feira, a small county in the north of the country, whereas the bulk of the cork is produced in the south (Alentejo and Ribatejo). The historical roots and past and path dependence of the trajectory of this cluster are examined, as well as the identification of its life cycle phases. A comparative analysis of the economic performance of firms localized in Santa Maria da Feira and in other regions of the country is then made, using labour productivity data for a long time span of several decades. This exercise is a quantitative illustration of the crucial importance of history for the understanding of cluster dynamics, as well as many other (evolutionary) economic phenomena.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number 2013/26.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp262013

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Rua do Quelhas 6, 1200-781 LISBON, PORTUGAL
Web page: https://aquila1.iseg.ulisboa.pt/aquila/departamentos/EC

Related research

Keywords: Cork Industry; Cluster Life Cycle; Santa Maria da Feira; Portugal.;

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References

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  1. Branco, Amélia & Parejo, Francisco M., 2008. "Incentives or obstacles? institutional aspects of the cork business in the Iberian Peninsula (1930–1975)," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 17-43, January.
  2. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2011. "Conceptualising Cluster Evolution: Beyond the Life-Cycle Model?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1112, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jul 2011.
  3. Amélia Branco & João Carlos Lopes, 2013. "Vantagens da concentração geográfica da produção: o caso da indústria corticeira de Santa Maria da Feira," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/04, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. Fiorenza Belussi & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2008. "Life Cycle vs. Multiple Path Dependency in Industrial Districts," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 505-528, November.
  5. Max-Peter Menzel & Dirk Fornahl, 2010. "Cluster life cycles--dimensions and rationales of cluster evolution," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 205-238, February.
  6. Michael Porter, 2003. "The Economic Performance of Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 549-578.
  7. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2006. "Path Dependence and Regional Economic Evolution," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0606, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Mar 2006.
  8. 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.
  9. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2011. "Conceptualizing Cluster Evolution: Beyond the Life Cycle Model?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1299-1318, November.
  10. Ron A. Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2006. "Why is economic geography not an evolutionary science? Towards an evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 273-302, June.
  11. Gregory Spencer & Tara Vinodrai & Meric Gertler & David Wolfe, 2010. "Do Clusters Make a Difference? Defining and Assessing their Economic Performance," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(6), pages 697-715.
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