23 August 2016

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Damiano Lepori, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg. The entire selection, carried out since 2013, can be consulted on the academic articles page of our web.


Public cluster policy and new venture creation

By: D. B. Audretsch, E. E. Lehmann, M. Menter. Econ Polit Ind, DOI 10.1007/s40812-016-0050-9, 2016. 

Abstract: “Entrepreneurship polices are perceived as an effective means to shape regional development and facilitate innovation. However, empirical evidence on the full scope of public cluster policy and the associated impact on entrepreneurial engagement is scarce. This paper addresses this issue and investigates the impact of public cluster policy on new venture creation in Germany. Based on a unique dataset ranging from 1998 to 2012 encompassing all 150 German labor market regions, we examine the effects of the ‘Leading-Edge Cluster Competition’ on new venture creation. Applying treatment and difference-in-differences estimation techniques, we evaluate whether the treated cluster regions show different entrepreneurial performance paths compared to the control group, i.e. non-government-subsidized regions. Our results confirm that public cluster policies positively affect regional entrepreneurial activities, but only in part. The overall effect of governmental subsidization —the treatment effect— is rather low compared to the impact of local research intensive universities and the innovative milieu on new venture creation.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The role of innovation and agglomeration for employment growth in the environmental sector

By: J. Horbach, M. Janser. IAB Discussion Paper, Articles on labour market issues 16/2015, ISSN 2195-2663, 2016.

Abstract: “The environmental sector is supposed to yield a dual benefit: its goods and services are intended to help to tackle environmental challenges and its establishments should create new jobs. However, it is still unclear in empirical terms whether that really is the case. This paper investigates whether employment growth in ‘green’ establishments with ‘green’ products and services is higher compared to other establishments. Furthermore, the main factors determining labor demand in this field are analyzed. We use linked employment and regional data for Germany. The descriptive results show that the environmental sector is characterized by disproportionately high employment growth. The application of both a generalized linear mixed model and an instrumental variables regression reveals that especially innovation and industry agglomeration foster employment growth in establishments in the environmental sector. Establishments without green products and services show a smaller increase in employment, even if they are also innovative.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Identifying Revealed Comparative Advantages in an EU Regional Context

By: A. Cordes, Birgit Gehrke, C. Rammer, R. Römisch, P. Schliessler, P. Wassmann. The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, Research Report 412, 2016.

Abstract: “This study introduces a suitable method to break down national trade data to the regional level. This allows producing trade indicators at the regional level, revealed export advantages in particular. Identifying industries in which a region realises a strong trade specialisation plays a twofold role in industrial and regional policy-making. Firstly, identifying successful structures at the industry-region level helps to improve the understanding of micro- and meso-foundations for competitiveness as well as scope and cases for policy intervention. Secondly, knowledge of the spatial distribution of competitive industries and required location factors is necessary for differentiated perspectives on future economic development and the choice of policy instruments. The study applies descriptive, econometric and case study analysis to identify regional patterns of trade specialisation, as well as region- and industry-specific factors related to success in international markets. Based on the results obtained, the study develops conclusions for EU regional and smart specialisation policies.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Economic issues of innovation clusters-based industrial policy: a critical overview

By: B.G. Jean Jacques Iritié. LADEG Working Paper, No. 002/2015, 2016.  

Abstract: “Criticisms vis-à-vis cluster policy are numerous, often confusing and really unhelpful; while some authors systematically question the merits, others on the contrary play a genuine role of counsel in his favour. This paper attempts to refocus the debate and analyses the economic issues, impacts and implications of the innovation clusters policy. To do this, we take a critical view of the literature on clusters, focusing on analysis of the effects of three industrial dynamics in perpetual movement within clusters, especially research and development, industrial location and technology cooperation. We assume that innovation cluster ”potentiates”, by a synergistic action, the beneficial effect of each of these three industrial dynamics in favour of localised firms. However, it appears from the analysis that the hopes and expectations invested in cluster policy must be reconsidered and relativised. So the reasons for the rising power of cluster policies must be sought elsewhere than in a necessarily consensual and tangible evidence of positive impacts of clusters.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


European plans for the smart city: from theories and rules to logistics test case

By: F. Russo, C. Rindone, P. Panuccio. European Planning Studies, Vol. 24, Iss. 9, 2016.

Abstract: “City evolution is connected to social, economic and technological evolutions. New technologies induce further changes, which are highly innovative, which again affect the urban and territorial systems. The city once again adjusts to new opportunities in relation to information and communications technologies, energy and mobility. In this paper, smart city, configured as a set of interacting systems with people, is focused as a possible model to follow for pursuing sustainability in real cities of the twenty-first century. Three processes are recalled: city development, city planning theories and city rules. Smart city seems to be the convergent point for all processes evolving in European urban areas. Theoretical definitions of smart city are recalled. At the same time, the European Commission is promoting smart city rules for implementation. Moreover, in the last years some local decision-makers implemented specific measures that today can be considered in the class of smart city measures. The objective of the paper is to analyse the European perspectives for smart city, trying to separate the three processes that are strongly integrated, but without formal links. To verify the European smart city approach, a study case concerning city logistics is considered.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]