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Reflections on Cluster Policies

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  • Steven Brakman
  • Charles van Marrewijk

Abstract

Economic activity tends to cluster. This results in productivity gains. For policy makers this offers an opportunity to formulate and promote policies that foster clustering of economic activity. Paradoxically, although agglomeration rents are often found in empirical research a rationale for cluster policies does not exist. A brief tour through the literature shows that cluster policies face more problems than is often assumed in policy circles. We reflect on the main issues at stake and conclude that, if not carefully applied, cluster policy may do more harm than good.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Brakman & Charles van Marrewijk, 2012. "Reflections on Cluster Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3963, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3963
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2010. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects," NBER Chapters,in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 15-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Diego Puga, 2010. "The Magnitude And Causes Of Agglomeration Economies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 203-219.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Lehmann, 2016. "Economic Growth and Business Cycle Forecasting at the Regional Level," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 65.
    2. Matthias Firgo & Peter Mayerhofer, 2015. "Wissens-Spillovers und regionale Entwicklung - welche strukturpolitische Ausrichtung optimiert des Wachstum?," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 144, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    3. Joan Crespo & Jérôme Vicente & Frédéric Amblard, 2016. "Micro-behaviors and structural properties of knowledge networks: toward a ‘one size fits one’ cluster policy," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 533-552, September.
    4. Joan Crespo & Frédéric Amblard & Jérôme Vicente, 2015. "Simulating micro behaviours and structural properties of knowledge networks: toward a “one size fits one” cluster policy," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1503, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Feb 2015.
    5. Cappenberg, Christina, 2013. "Staatliche Förderung regionaler Unternehmensnetzwerke: Legitimation nationaler Clusterpolitik," Arbeitspapiere 140, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    6. repec:wfo:wstudy:58342 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jan Kluge & Robert Lehmann, 2013. "Marshall or Jacobs? New insights from an interaction model," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 33(2), pages 107-133, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic clusters; regional policy; agglomeration;

    JEL classification:

    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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