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Mapping the Evolution of "Clusters": A Meta-analysis


  • Mario A. Maggioni

    (Catholic University)

  • T. Erika Uberti

    (Catholic University)

  • Francesca Gambarotto

    (University of Padova)


This paper presents a meta-analysis of the “cluster literature” contained in scientific journals from 1969 to 2007. Thanks to an original database we study the evolution of a stream of literature which focuses on a research object which is both a theoretical puzzle and an empirical widespread evidence. We identify different growth stages, from take-off to development and maturity. We test the existence of a life-cycle within the authorships and we discover the existence of a substitutability relation between different collaborative behaviours. We study the relationships between a “spatial” and an “industrial” approach within the textual corpus of cluster literature and we show the existence of a “predatory” interaction. We detect the relevance of clustering behaviours in the location of authors working on clusters and in measuring the influence of geographical distance in co-authorship. We measure the extent of a convergence process of the vocabulary of scientists working on clusters.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario A. Maggioni & T. Erika Uberti & Francesca Gambarotto, 2009. "Mapping the Evolution of "Clusters": A Meta-analysis," Working Papers 2009.74, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.74

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is Science A Case of Wasteful Competition?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 395-414, July.
    2. Maria Cracolici & Teodora Uberti, 2009. "Geographical distribution of crime in Italian provinces: a spatial econometric analysis," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, February.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    4. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
    7. Mario A. Maggioni & Mario Nosvelli & Teodora Erika Uberti, 2007. "Space versus networks in the geography of innovation: A European analysis," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 471-493, August.
    8. Peter Maskell & Leïla Kebir, 2005. "What qualifies as a cluster theory?," DRUID Working Papers 05-09, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    9. Harald Bathelt & Andersand Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "Clusters and Knowledge Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation," DRUID Working Papers 02-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Autant-Bernard, Corinne & Fadairo, Muriel & Massard, Nadine, 2013. "Knowledge diffusion and innovation policies within the European regions: Challenges based on recent empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 196-210.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1421-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mario Maggioni & Teodora Uberti, 2011. "Networks and geography in the economics of knowledge flows," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(5), pages 1031-1051, August.

    More about this item


    Cluster; Life-Cycle; Cluster Literature; Textual Analysis; Agglomeration; Co-Authorship;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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