Creating New Opportunities for Rural Producers. Impact Evaluation of a Pilot Program in Colombia
Industrial clusters are commonly targeted to receive financial support allocated to local-based development projects. Cluster promotion is seen as an effective industrial policy tool aimed at improving productivity and employment generation. Nevertheless, despite its popularity as a regional development policy, identifying and assessing the economic performance of clusters is still a challenge for policy makers. The objective of this paper is twofold: identify the location of clusters in Brazil; and provide some insights of its effect on employment generation. This paper uses three measures of identification to test whether the correlation between clusters and economic performance depends on the way clusters are identified. Noticeably, the existing literature on clusters’ identification in Brazil ignores possible spatial dependence. To address this gap in the literature, this paper draws on Carroll et al. (2008) and uses Location Quotient (LQ) and Local Indicator of Spatial Association (LISA) simultaneously to identify potential clusters in Brazil in 27 industrial sectors and using a comprehensive census data of the formal sector covering 5564 Brazilian municipalities. In addition, the paper uses an annual municipal panel data for the period 2006-2009 to assess whether the presence of clusters is correlated to superior economic performance, particularly employment generation. The results show that potential clusters are correlated with better economic performance, however, different types of agglomerations present different association with economic performance. Firstly, municipalities in specialized clusters (SR) perform poorly in terms of employment generation. Secondly, the results suggest that clusters of municipalities with neighbors with similar industrial structure (Periphery Regions and Potential Cluster Region) perform much better than those that only present industry specialization (SR) and are not close to similar municipalities.
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