Clusterförderung und Wirtschaftspolitik - Heilsbringer oder Wolf im Schafspelz?
In: List Forum Band 33
This paper provides a critical analysis of the widespread claim in economic policy of promoting ‚clus-ters’. Starting from the vague concept of clusters as promoted by PORTER at first it is investigated, if clus-ters really exist and if their existence exerts any benefits to regional economic development. Subsequently the rationale for promoting clusters is discussed from the viewpoint of economic policy. Finally the ques-tion is raised about the optimal implementation of cluster promotion. The findings show that the empirical evidence for the existence of clusters and their positive influence on regional economic development is not particularly overwhelming. The economic justification of cluster promotion crucially depends on the distinction between pecuniary and technological externalities as causes for the concentration of entrepre-neurial activities. Whereas pecuniary externalities are remunerated by markets, only technological exter-nalities may justify policies directed at the promotion of clusters. Altogether it shows up, that the promo-tion of clusters is associated with substantial implementation problems and that there are no convincing economic reasons for a preferential treatment of spatially concentrated enterprises. (Original text only available in german language)
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