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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Targeting Industry Clusters


  • Barkley, David L.
  • Henry, Mark S.


Regional industrialization efforts include industrial recruitment, entrepreneurial and small business development, and business retention and expansion programs. Recently, many states and communities have targeted their industrialization programs at specific industries to promote the development of industry clusters. Broadly defined, an industry cluster is a loose, geographically bounded collection of similar and/or related firms that together create competitive advantages for member firms and the regional economy. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the debate concerning the advisability of industry cluster targeting as an employment generation strategy for states and sub-state regions. Our review of the appropriateness of a clusters strategy begins with a summary of industry cluster characteristics. Next we present the potential advantages developed clusters provide regional economies and the difficulties of establishing competitive clusters in new locations. We conclude with a summary of the implications of an industry clusters strategy for regional industrial development.

Suggested Citation

  • Barkley, David L. & Henry, Mark S., 2001. "Advantages And Disadvantages Of Targeting Industry Clusters," REDRL Research Reports 18792, Clemson University, Regional Economic Development Research Laboratory (REDRL).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:curerr:18792
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.18792

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    Cited by:

    1. Kumar, Sudesh, 2005. "Development of Industrial Cluster," MPRA Paper 171, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Sep 2005.
    2. Manuel Palazuelos, 2005. "Clusters: Myth or Realistic Ambition for Policy-makers?," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 20(2), pages 131-140, May.
    3. Dudensing, Rebekka M. & Barkley, David L., 2010. "Competitiveness of Southern Metropolitan Areas: The Role of New Economy Policies," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 40(2), pages 197-226.
    4. Svetlana Kotlyarova, 2016. "Mechanisms of the Stimulation of Import Substitution in the Construction Industry," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(4), pages 1146-1156.
    5. Hagadone, Todd A. & Grala, Robert K., 2012. "Business clusters in Mississippi's forest products industry," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 16-24.
    6. Dalina-Maria ANDREI, 2015. "Clusters - Theoretical and Policy Approach," Eco-Economics Review, Ecological University of Bucharest, Economics Faculty and Ecology and Environmental Protection Faculty, vol. 1(1), pages 44-51, June.
    7. Prejmerean (Dan), Mihaela Cornelia, 2011. "The development potential of clusters in Romania," MPRA Paper 35349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Kotlyarova, S. N., 2016. "Priority Areas for the Support and Promotion of Import Substitution in the Construction Industry," R-Economy, Ural Federal University, Graduate School of Economics and Management, vol. 2(4), pages 460-468.
    9. Dudensing, Rebekka M., 2008. "Biomedical Devices Clusters in South Carolina and the United States," Research Reports 112807, Clemson University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    10. Alex Burfitt & Stewart Macneill, 2008. "The Challenges of Pursuing Cluster Policy in the Congested State," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 492-505, June.
    11. Kathryn Pavlovich & Michèle Akoorie, 2010. "Innovation, sustainability and regional development: the Nelson/Marlborough seafood cluster, New Zealand," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(6), pages 377-386, September.
    12. Cemal Iyem & Derya Gul Ozturk & Fatma Zehra Yildiz, 2018. "Clustering and Clustering Potential in TR 32 Regions Province," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 8(3), pages 336-345, July.

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