IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Economic and Technological Clusters in the Austrian Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Gernot Hutschenreiter


  • Michael Peneder


In order to establish guidelines for technology policy and promotion a set of "clusters", i.e., inter-related industrial activities, each representing a combination of high technological and economic competitiveness has been elaborated for Austria. Generally speaking, such clusters are not easily identified for Austria. Exceptions are the timber – pulp and paper sector as well as the manufacturing of railroads and special railroad vehicles. The major reasons are that – some powerful clusters of the past today suffer from secular adjustment problems (e.g., steel, textile); – many successful sectors are part of transnational industries whose core activities and decision centers are located outside Austria (supply of vehicle components, consumer electronics). Technological clusters The assessment of the "density" of economic activities (cluster) is of particular interest if it is related to the performance of the firms involved. This is warranted by the fact that agglomeration effects are often determined by the phenomenon of rising returns to scale. Geographical concentration of production and regional specialization may be indicative of such rising returns to scale. Markets for specific categories of labor, supply of inputs or services of a particular kind, spill-overs of relevant know-how and the existence of adequate infrastructure play a major role in this context. Using statistical cluster analysis, groups of enterprises have been identified which over the period 1987-91 exhibited similar patent registration behavior. These clusters, supplemented by technological and demand side considerations, were regrouped into five categories, all characterized by above-average numbers of patent registrations. – electric/electronic equipment; telecommunication, – transportation, – construction and housing, – skis, skiboots and sports equipment, – chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Within each of these technological clusters there are potential horizontal spill-overs operating between enterprises of similar activity, such as flows of knowledge, common research and training infrastructure, technological division of labor, the pooling of labor resources, etc. Conclusions and consequences The idea of clusters and of activities fitting into a national output structure should – among other factors such as potential value added or sectoral market growth – be a major criterion for the granting of government subsidies or incentives to business location. The advantages of an efficient industrial network are crucial for the establishment of innovative enterprises in dynamic but high-risk market segments and thus for the build-up of new industries. Careful targeting of technology-related subsidies and the establishment of adequate institutions for the diffusion of specific knowledge and skills are thus major elements in a cluster-oriented industrial strategy. Examples are the creation of research and training centers oriented towards future industrial structures or support given for the cooperation between firms and across branches.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Abstract
Download Restriction: Payment required

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by WIFO in its journal WIFO-Monatsberichte.

Volume (Year): 67 (1994)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 617-623

in new window

Handle: RePEc:wfo:monber:y:1994:i:11:p:617-623
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Arsenal Object 20, A-1030 Wien

Phone: (+43 1) 798 26 01-0
Fax: (+43 1) 798 93 86
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: Austrian Institute of Economic Research Publikationsverkauf und Abonnentenbetreuung Arsenal, Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna/Austria

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wfo:monber:y:1994:i:11:p:617-623. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilse Schulz)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.