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Do Clusters Really Matter for Innovation Practices in Information Technology? Questioning the Significance of Technological Knowledge Spillovers

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  • Franz Huber

Abstract

A widespread assumption in economic geography and the economics of innovation is that firms located in clusters benefit from territorial learning and knowledge spillovers. However, it remains unclear to what extent these benefits actually occur. This paper aims to address this issue and examines to what extent research and development (R&D) workers in the Cambridge Information Technology (IT) Cluster benefit from being located in the Cluster. The study shows why many do not believe that their work benefits from being located in the Cluster. The results suggest that academics as well as policy makers need to be more careful with the assumption of technological knowledge spillovers in innovative clusters. The significant advantages of the Cambridge IT Cluster seem to be of a different nature; in particular they concern labour market advantages and benefits from the global ‘brand’ of Cambridge.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Huber, 2010. "Do Clusters Really Matter for Innovation Practices in Information Technology? Questioning the Significance of Technological Knowledge Spillovers," DRUID Working Papers 10-21, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:10-21
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    Keywords

    Clusters; Knowledge Spillovers; Territorial Learning; Agglomeration Economies;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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