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Sinking or swimming in the cluster labour pool? A firm-specific analysis of the effect of specialized labour

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  • Nils Grashof

    (Centre for Regional and Innovation Economics, University of Bremen, Germany)

Abstract

Human resources are a key factor for firm success, particularly nowadays when most industrial economies face an increasing shortage of qualified labour. With their pooled labour markets, regional clusters have been shown to be a preferable location for firms in order to satisfy their demand for skilled employees. Nevertheless, in light of possible disadvantages (e.g. labour poaching) and the broad field of studies dealing with firm performance differentials, the prevalent assumption that all companies profit equally from the specialized labour pool in clusters must be questioned. Consequently, the aim of this paper is to empirically investigate the conditions and mechanisms through which companies located in clusters can gain, in terms of innovativeness, from the specialized labour pool. By synthesizing theoretical streams from the strategic management (e.g. resource-based view) and the economic geography literature (e.g. cluster approach), variables from three different levels of analysis (micro-level, meso-level and macro- level) are examined separately as well as interactively. Apart from revealing that being located in a cluster indeed increases on average firm innovativeness, one of the central findings is that firms benefit unequally within the cluster environment depending on the specific firm-level, cluster-level, industry-/market-level conditions and their respective interactions.

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  • Nils Grashof, 2020. "Sinking or swimming in the cluster labour pool? A firm-specific analysis of the effect of specialized labour," Jena Economic Research Papers 2020-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2020-006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    specialized labour pool; cluster; agglomeration; firm performance differentials; innovation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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