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Clustering the Winners: the French Policy of Competitiveness Clusters

  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Pamina Koenig
  • Florian Mayneris
  • Sandra Poncet

In 2005 the French government launched a policy of competitiveness clusters, giving subsidies for innovative projects managed locally and collectively by firms, research centers and universities. This paper proposes an ex-ante analysis of the outcome of the selection process that took place before the implementation of the subsidies program, in order to assess whether the policy ended up in choosing winners or losers. We first ask how the clusters have been selected, and then focus on the selection of firms within the clusters, using export and productivity as a measure of performance. Our main conclusion is that public authorities have chosen the winners during the two-step selection procedure. Export premium, beyond what individual characteristics would predict, is however most visible within the category of clusters having no international ambition, where heterogeneity among firms is the largest.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2010-18.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-18
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  1. Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer & Florian Mayneris, 2008. "Public support to clusters : a firm level study of French 'local productive systems'," Sciences Po publications 7102, Sciences Po.
  2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," CEP Discussion Papers dp0791, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. 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.
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