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Industrial clusters and economic integration : theoretic concepts and an application to the European Metropolitan Region Nuremberg

Listed author(s):
  • Litzel, Nicole

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Möller, Joachim


    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

"Economic integration typically goes along with disintegration of production through outsourcing and offshoring (Feenstra 1998). As horizontal and vertical links between firms become more and more pronounced, value chains within regions are increasingly organized by production and innovation clusters. On the basis of a literature overview, we argue that in a world of economic integration clusters can be expected to play a prominent role. Therefore clusters can also be seen as a key element in the European Metropolitan Region concept. Within such an economic space, localisation economies according to the 'Marshallian trinity' (knowledge spillovers, input sharing and labour market pooling (Rosenthal/Strange 2003)) can be realized. The paper builds on a comprehensive company survey for the core of the European Metropolitan Region Nuremberg that includes customer-supplier relationships and various forms of cooperation. As indicated by numerous empirical studies, the characteristics of clusters differ substantially. In order to overcome the fuzziness of the concept we suggest a bottom-up methodology of cluster identification using a set of qualitative and quantitative indicators. Given that many kinds of barriers to interregional and international trade are becoming less and less important and transport cost are falling, modern production clusters tend to have a higher geographical extension than traditional ones. We therefore raise the question of whether clustering is relevant for economic integration on the regional, national and supra-national level." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Paper provided by Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] in its series IAB Discussion Paper with number 200922.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 17 Sep 2009
Publication status: published in: Jovanovic, Miroslav N. (Ed.), International handbook on the economics of integration : vol. 2: Competition, spatial location of economic activity and financial issues, Cheltenham, 2011, p. 262-295
Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:200922
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