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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel Fontagné & Pamina Koenig & Florian Mayneris & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Clustering the Winners: the French Policy of Competitiveness Clusters," Working Papers 2010-18, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-18

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    Cited by:

    1. Uwe Cantner & Holger Graf & Susanne Hinzmann, 2013. "Policy induced innovation networks: the case of the German "Leading-Edge Cluster competition"," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Hiroyuki Okamuro & Junichi Nishimura, 2015. "Local Management of National Cluster Policies: Comparative Case Studies of Japanese, German, and French Biotechnology Clusters," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-27, November.
    3. Christian Schröder, 2014. "Dynamics in ICT cooperation networks in selected German ICT clusters," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 197-230, February.
    4. repec:eee:tefoso:v:127:y:2018:i:c:p:85-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Magali Chaudey & Marion Dessertine, 2016. "Impact sur l’emploi de la participation aux projets de R&D des pôles de compétitivité. Méthode et résultats," Working Papers 1626, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    6. Marie-Laure Cabon-Dhersin & Emmanuelle Taugourdeau, 2015. "Research clusters: How public subsidies matter," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 15013, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    7. Delio Lucena Piquero & Jerome Vicente, 2017. "The visible hand of cluster policy makers: An analysis of Aerospace Valley (2006-2015) using a place-based network methodology," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1723, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2017.
    8. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2013. "Are clusters more resilient in crises? Evidence from French exporters in 2008-2009," CEPR Discussion Papers 9667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Cyrielle Gaglio, 2015. "Measuring Country Competitiveness: A Survey of Exporting-based Indexes," GREDEG Working Papers 2015-42, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    10. Matthieu Crozet & Lionel Fontagné, 2010. "L'internationalisation des entreprises : une analyse microéconomique de la mondialisation," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 435(1), pages 3-12.
    11. Janina Reinkowski, 2014. "Empirical Essays in the Economics of Ageing and the Economics of Innovation," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 53, April.
    12. Jean Dubé & Cédric Brunelle, 2014. "Dots to dots: a general methodology to build local indicators using spatial micro-data," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 245-272, August.
    13. Benjamin Zimmer & Julie Stal-Le Cardinal & Bernard Yannou & Gilles Le Cardinal & François Piette & Vincent Boly, 2014. "A methodology for the development of innovation clusters: application in the health care sector," Post-Print hal-01152287, HAL.
    14. Magali Chaudey & Marion Dessertine, 2016. "Impact sur l'emploi de la participation aux projets de R&D des pôles de compétitivité. Méthode et résultats," Working Papers halshs-01361349, HAL.

    More about this item


    Competitiveness; Clusters; International Trade; Firm selection;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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