IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/sercdp/0146.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Here Be Startups: Exploring a young digital cluster in Inner East London

Author

Listed:
  • Max Nathan
  • Emma Vandore

Abstract

The digital industries cluster known as 'Silicon Roundabout' has been quietly growing in East London since the 1990s. Now rebranded 'Tech City', it is now the focus of huge public and government attention. National and local policymakers wish to accelerate the local area's development: such cluster policies are back in vogue as part of a re-awakened interest in industrial policy in many developed countries. Surprisingly little is known about Tech City's firms or the wider ecosystem, however, and existing cluster policies have a high failure rate. This paper performs a detailed mixed-methods analysis, combining rich enterprise-level data with semi-structured interviews. We track firm and employment growth from 1997-2010 and identify a number of distinctive features: branching from creative to digital content industries, street-level sorting of firms, the importance of local amenities and a lack of conventional cluster actors such as universities or anchor businesses. We also argue that the existing policy mix embodies a number of tensions, and suggest areas for improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Max Nathan & Emma Vandore, 2013. "Here Be Startups: Exploring a young digital cluster in Inner East London," SERC Discussion Papers 0146, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0146
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0146.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gilles Duranton & Diego Puga, 2001. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life Cycle of Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1454-1477, December.
    2. William R. Kerr & Scott Duke Kominers, 2015. "Agglomerative Forces and Cluster Shapes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 877-899, October.
    3. Harrison, Ann & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2010. "Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Jing Cai & Mathias Dewatripont & Luosha Du & Ann Harrison & Patrick Legros, 2015. "Industrial Policy and Competition," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 1-32, October.
    5. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Foreign direct investment as a catalyst for industrial development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 335-356, February.
    6. Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2011. "The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 295-307, March.
    7. Helen Lawton Smith & Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, 2012. "The research university, entrepreneurship and regional development: Research propositions and current evidence," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5-6), pages 383-404, June.
    8. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    9. Junbo Yu & Randall Jackson, 2011. "Regional Innovation Clusters: A Critical Review," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 111-124, June.
    10. Michael E. Porter, 2000. "Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 14(1), pages 15-34, February.
    11. Gilles Duranton, 2011. "California Dreamin': The Feeble Case for Cluster Policies," Review of Economic Analysis, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, vol. 3(1), pages 3-45, July.
    12. Pierre Philippe Combes & GillesDuranton & Henry G.Overman, 2005. "Agglomeration And The Adjustment Of The Spatial Economy," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 001953, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    13. Gilles Duranton, 2007. "Urban Evolutions: The Fast, the Slow, and the Still," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 197-221, March.
    14. Klaus E Meyer & Evis Sinani, 2009. "When and where does foreign direct investment generate positive spillovers? A meta-analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 40(7), pages 1075-1094, September.
    15. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
    16. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
    17. Glaeser, Edward L., 2008. "Cities, Agglomeration, and Spatial Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199290444.
    18. Mohammad Arzaghi & J. Vernon Henderson, 2008. "Networking off Madison Avenue," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1011-1038.
    19. Max Nathan, 2011. "East London Tech City: Ideas without a strategy?," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 26(3), pages 197-202, May.
    20. Elvira Uyarra & Kieron Flanagan, 2009. "Understanding the Innovation Impacts of Public Procurement," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 123-143, June.
    21. Michael Storper & Allen J. Scott, 2009. "Rethinking human capital, creativity and urban growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 147-167, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Digital economy; cities; clusters; innovation; London; Silicon Roundabout; Tech City;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0146. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.