Industrial clusters and regional innovation: an evaluation and implications for economic cohesion
This paper studies the role of industrial clusters in stimulating regional innovation and economic cohesion in Europe. Starting from an overview of industrial clusters in the EU, in which we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of agglomerations of firms, we empirically investigate how cluster and regional characteristics influence R&D investment and innovation output and the role they play in fostering economic cohesion. We find that the presence and size of clusters significantly enhance regional innovation in Europe; however, the industry in which regions specialize matters. In particular, specialization in medium-high and high-technology clusters seems to create a better environment for innovation and R&D. Finally, the presence of clusters in a region is positively associated with higher levels of employment.
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