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The Ambivalent Role of Mimetic Behaviors in Proximity Dynamics: Evidences on the French “Silicon Sentier”

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  • Jérome VICENTE (LEREPS-GRES)
  • Yan Dalla PRIA (CSO – CNRS)
  • Raphaël SUIRE (CREM – CNRS)

Abstract

This articles examines the peculiar role of mimetic behaviors in co-location processes. We start showing that geographical proximity between agents and/or firms is not a sufficient nor necessary condition for the collective performance of clusters. Other types of socio-economic proximities characterize clusters, and our purpose is to show that, among the several ways to analyze the complex links between proximities and clusters, the theoretical outlook on the role played by mimetic interactions in co-location processes are certainly one of the most promising. Mimetic behaviors of location (in economics and sociology) are introduced in order to demonstrate that co-location processes can be the result of sequentiality, uncertainty, legitimacy and non market interactions, rather than full rational and isolated decisions and pure strategic market interactions. According to the type of mimetic behavior at work in the clustering process, the nature of socio-economic proximity can differ and have a strong influence of the “evolutionary stability” of clusters. All these theoretical considerations are illustrated through the emblematic French case of “Silicon Sentier”, cluster which has gathered together three hundred firms of the French net-economy (the famous “dotcom”) during the Internet bubble swelling.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérome VICENTE (LEREPS-GRES) & Yan Dalla PRIA (CSO – CNRS) & Raphaël SUIRE (CREM – CNRS), 2006. "The Ambivalent Role of Mimetic Behaviors in Proximity Dynamics: Evidences on the French “Silicon Sentier”," Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) 2006-02, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
  • Handle: RePEc:grs:wpegrs:2006-02
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugres.u-bordeaux4.fr/2006/2006-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ron A. Boschma & Jan G. Lambooy, 1999. "Evolutionary economics and economic geography," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 411-429.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
    3. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
    4. Allen J. Scott, 2004. "A Perspective of Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(5), pages 479-499, November.
    5. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1998. "Miracle on Sixth Avenue: Information Externalities and Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 60-74, January.
    6. Geroski, P. A., 2000. "Models of technology diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 603-625, April.
    7. Quah, Danny, 2000. "Internet cluster emergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1032-1044, May.
    8. Andr Torre Shaw & Jean-Pierre Gilly, 2000. "On the Analytical Dimension of Proximity Dynamics," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 169-180.
    9. 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.
    10. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Carrincazeaux & Yannick Lung & Jérôme Vicente, 2007. "The Scientific Trajectory of the French School of Proximity: Interaction- and Institution-based Approaches to Regional Innovation Systems," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 617-628, December.
    2. Raphael Suire & Jérome Vicente, 2009. "Why do some places succeed when others decline? A social interaction model of cluster viability," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 381-404, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cluster; mimetic interactions; proximity; stability; Silicon Sentier;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General

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