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When Do Global Pipelines Enhance the Diffusion of Knowledge in Clusters?


  • Andrea Morrison
  • Roberta Rabellotti
  • Lorenzo Zirulia


Recent studies have stressed the role played by global pipelines in fostering the growth of clusters and innovativeness. In this article, we develop a formal model to investigate when global pipelines contribute to an increase in local knowledge, depending on various characteristics of clusters such as size, knowledge endowment, and the ease of transmission of internal knowledge. This model is an extension of C owan and J onard’s () model in which we introduce the concept of cluster and a role for spatial proximity in the diffusion of knowledge. Our results reveal that there is a natural tendency of actors within global pipelines to act as external stars, rather than gatekeepers of knowledge. Global pipelines are beneficial for the accumulation of knowledge only if the cluster is either characterized by a high-quality local buzz or is small and weakly endowed in terms of knowledge.
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Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Morrison & Roberta Rabellotti & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2013. "When Do Global Pipelines Enhance the Diffusion of Knowledge in Clusters?," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 89(1), pages 77-96, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:89:y:2013:i:1:p:77-96
    DOI: 10.1111/ecge.2013.89.issue-1

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    Cited by:

    1. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Networking, context and firm-level innovation: Cooperation through the regional filter in Norway," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1516, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2015.
    2. Markus Grillitsch & Magnus Nilsson, 2019. "Knowledge externalities and firm heterogeneity: Effects on high and low growth firms," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(1), pages 93-114, February.
    3. Lucena-Piquero, D. & Vicente, Jérôme, 2019. "The visible hand of cluster policy makers: An analysis of Aerospace Valley (2006-2015) using a place-based network methodology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 830-842.
    4. Khan, Zaheer & Rao-Nicholson, Rekha & Tarba, Shlomo Y., 2018. "Global networks as a mode of balance for exploratory innovations in a late liberalizing economy," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 392-402.
    5. Peng Wang & Xiaoyan Lin & Dajun Dai, 2017. "Spatiotemporal Agglomeration of Real-Estate Industry in Guangzhou, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-15, August.
    6. Ron Boschma, 2015. "Towards an Evolutionary Perspective on Regional Resilience," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 733-751, May.
    7. Lorenzo CASSI & Emilie-Pauline GALLIÉ & Agénor LAHATTE & Valérie MERINDOL, 2018. "Scientific network centrality of European regions: the role of territorial resources," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 47, pages 5-26.
    8. Graf, Holger & Kalthaus, Martin, 2018. "International research networks: Determinants of country embeddedness," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(7), pages 1198-1214.
    9. Anjum Fayyaz & Peter Lund-Thomsen & Adam Lindgreen, 2017. "Industrial Clusters and CSR in Developing Countries: The Role of International Donor Funding," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 619-637, December.
    10. Salvatore Monni & Francesco Palumbo & Manuela TvaronaviÄ ienÄ—, 2017. "Cluster performance: an attempt to evaluate the Lithuanian case," Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, September.
    11. Tom Broekel & Wladimir Mueller, 2017. "Critical links in knowledge networks. What about proximities and gatekeeper organizations?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1711, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2017.
    12. Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Martin, Roman & Sardo, Stefania, 2018. "The Virtual is Reality! On Physical and Virtual Space in Software Firms’ Knowledge Formation," Papers in Innovation Studies 2018/9, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    13. Nicola Cortinovis & Frank van Oort, 2017. "Between spilling over and boiling down: network-mediated spillovers, absorptive capacity and productivity in European regions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-118/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. Hervas Oliver,Jose Luis & Gonzalez,Gregorio & Caja,Pedro, 2014. "Clusters and industrial districts: where is the literature going? Identifying emerging sub-fields of research," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201409, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
    15. Giuseppe Calignano & Rune Dahl Fitjar, 2017. "Strengthening relationships in clusters: How effective is an indirect policy measure carried out in a peripheral technology district?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 59(1), pages 139-169, July.
    16. Yibo Lyu & Quanshan Liu & Binyuan He & Jingfei Nie, 2017. "Structural embeddedness and innovation diffusion: the moderating role of industrial technology grouping," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(2), pages 889-916, May.
    17. Malgorzata Wachowska, 2018. "Cluster as place of efficient diffusion of knowledge. Experiences of Lower Silesia," Managerial Economics, AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Management, vol. 19(2), pages 227-249.
    18. Elzbieta Wojnicka-Sycz & Piotr Sycz & Piotr Walentynowicz & Jaroslaw Wasniewski, 2018. "Internal determinants of firms’ innovativeness," Operations Research and Decisions, Wroclaw University of Technology, Institute of Organization and Management, vol. 4, pages 83-97.
    19. Julie Le Gallo & Anne Plunket, 2016. "Technological gatekeepers, regional inventor networks and inventive performance," Working Papers hal-01422916, HAL.
    20. Stefano Breschi & Camilla Lenzi, 2015. "The Role of External Linkages and Gatekeepers for the Renewal and Expansion of US Cities' Knowledge Base, 1990-2004," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 782-797, May.
    21. Iris Wanzenböck & Thomas Scherngell & Thomas Brenner, 2014. "Embeddedness of regions in European knowledge networks: a comparative analysis of inter-regional R&D collaborations, co-patents and co-publications," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(2), pages 337-368, September.
    22. Giulio Buciuni & Gary Pisano, 2018. "Knowledge integrators and the survival of manufacturing clusters," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 1069-1089.
    23. Pia Wassmann & Daniel Schiller & Stephan Thomsen, 2014. "Does Connectivity Impact Innovation Performance in Rural Regions?," ERSA conference papers ersa14p352, European Regional Science Association.
    24. Christopher Esposito & David Rigby, 2017. "When Buzz and Pipelines Fail," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1701, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2017.

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