TCI Network
28 March 2017

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.


Internationalization intensity of clusters and their impact on firm internationalization: the case of Poland

By: B. Jankowska, M. Götz. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1296111, 2017.

Abstract : “Existing and dominant perspectives on determinants of firm internationalization have focused on the firm-specific and country- specific factors, paying less attention to the question ‘if and how can clusters foster internationalization of cluster firms’. To investigate this issue, we conducted the study focused on the Polish clusters. First, we conceptualize the impact of clusters on the internationalization of cluster firms by introducing the concepts of the propensity of internationalization and intensity of internationalization. Second, we assess the internationalization intensity of clusters in Poland and check how cluster managers facilitated the internationalization of cluster firms. The results obtained show that clusters play an important role in neutralizing the liability of foreignness suffered by cluster entities. The findings confirm that the need of internationalization which is related to the internationalization propensity emerges over the time as a cluster matures and internationalization intensity is higher in case of more dense clusters. By combining meso- and microeconomic perspectives, this study offers a more holistic approach for studying internationalization processes.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Regional development in the context of economic reform: The case of Limassol

By: M. Benner, J. Hirth, F. Kraatz, K. Ludwig, J.Schrade. MPRA Paper No. 76834, 2017.

Abstract : “Regional development occurs in the larger context of national economies. Thus, the elaboration of regional economic development strategies cannot be separated from higher- level economic policy which frames and conditions opportunities and risks for regional development. As a Southern European country undergoing a process of profound structural economic reform, Cyprus provides a case for a policy context aiming towards the emergence of a new model of economic growth. Within this context, the Limassol region as one of the country’s major economic centers with a number of comparatively strong industries can serve as an example of how to promote regional development in the framework of national reform priorities such as moving the national economy closer towards a knowledge- and innovation- driven model. The present study analyses current reform priorities on the national and supra- national level, takes stock of the regional economic structure of Limassol district, and presents some preliminary ideas that could be further explored if and when a comprehensive regional economic development strategy for Limassol were to be elaborated. ”  [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


A critical review of entrepreneurial ecosystems research: towards a future research agenda

By: J. Borissenko, R. Boschma. Papers in Innovation Studies No. 2017/03, 2017.

Abstract : “The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (EE) literature has attracted much attention, especially in policy circles. However, the concept suffers from a number of shortcomings: (1) it lacks a clear analytical framework that makes explicit what is cause and what is effect in an entrepreneurial ecosystem; (2) while being a systemic concept, the EE has not yet fully exploited insights from network theory, and it is not always clear in what way the proposed elements are connected in an entrepreneurial ecosystem; (3) it remains a challenge what institutions (and at what spatial scale) impact on the structure and performance of EE; (4) studies have often focused on the EE in single regions or clusters, but lack a comparative and multi-scalar perspective; (5) the EE literature tends to provide a static framework taking a snapshot of EE without considering systematically their evolution over time. For each of these shortcomings, we make a number of suggestions to take up in future research on EE. ” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Entrepreneurial firms in STI and DUI mode clusters: do they need differentiated cluster facilitation?

By: H. W. Aslesen, I. B. Pettersen. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1300238, 2017.

Abstract : “This paper elaborates on the types of knowledge sources, actors and geographical space that are involved in innovation processes among small entrepreneurial firms located in two distinct city-based clusters in Norway with firms characterized as typical STI mode innovators (Oslo Cancer Cluster) and DUI mode innovators (Subsea cluster in Bergen). The aim of the paper is to see how, when and why firms source distinct knowledge and to what degree this aligns with their initial knowledge base and STI or DUI innovation mode. Findings show that the knowledge base and innovation mode approach hold for describing the early stages of the innovation process, suggesting cumulative path-dependent knowledge dynamics. However, at later stages, firms combine STI and DUI mode innovation logics and activate different types of sources, actors and geographical scales through combinatorial knowledge dynamics, largely pushed forward by the need to solve unforeseen challenges, to understand markets and by the need to reduce risks associated with the newness of innovations. Furthermore, we find that rigid regulatory regimes influence the dynamic interplay between sources, actors and geographical scales in the process of creating and transmitting knowledge. Based on these findings, the paper proposes cluster roles and facilitation initiatives.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Government and Governance of Regional Triple Helix Interactions

By: M. Danson, E. Todeva. MPRA Paper No. 76780, 2017.

Abstract : “This conceptual paper contributes to the discussion on the role of regional government and regional triple helix constellations driving economic development and growth within regional boundaries. We investigate the impact of regionalism and subsidiarity on regional triple helix constellations and the questions of governmentality, governance and institutional development at regional level. We put emphasis on the fact that the position of regional authorities in the structure of government and policy boundaries are best implemented at a regional level (the principles of regionalism and subsidiarity), and that localised policy practices represent a more precise view on the government-industry- university interactions (the principle of governmentality). We look at the regional triple helix context as a prerequisite for stakeholder engagement, enhancing innovation capabilities and entrepreneurial behaviour. The paper identifies the drivers behind regional competitiveness and economic development, and investigates the positive externalities from strong triple helix constellations, as well as the impact of government support and institutionalised cooperation on value creation and value capture at the level of the locale. The paper offers a stylised model (Fig. 1) of the conditions for value creation and value capture and offers a critical overview of the debates around the rationale for regional governments. Examples are drawn from Scotland, England and some comparable parts of Europe. ” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Identifying the effects of place-based policies – Evidence from Germany

By: M. Titze, E. Dettmann, M. Brachert. Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2016: Demographischer Wandel - Session: Industrial Policy, No. F02- V1, 2017.

Abstract : “The German government provides discretionary investment grants to structural weak regions to allow them to overcome disadvantages. The legislatives of the European Union (EU) however restrict the number of supported regions: The share of population in assisted regions is not allowed to exceed an arbitrarily defined threshold. We use a regression-discontinuity design that exploits a discrete jump in the probability to receive investment grants. Thus, we identify causal effects of the investment grant treatment on area level economic outcomes. We find positive effects for regional gross value added and productivity growth but no effects for employment and gross wages growth. ” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The empirics of agglomeration economies: the link with productivity

By: M. Fernandes, S. Santos, A. Fontoura Gouveia. GEE Papers No. 67, 2017.

Abstract : “There is a large branch of literature providing empirical evidence on the positive effects of agglomeration economies on productivity. However, for policy makers it is important to understand the role of agglomeration economies at a more micro level, disentangling the effects across industries, firm-level characteristics and time. The present survey reviews this literature, outlining the econometric approaches and methodological challenges. In general, results show that the magnitude of agglomeration economies differ substantially across industries and point to the presence of non-linear effects, also depending on the industry and product life cycles. The channels through which these effects operate may also differ – resulting from specialization externalities (within industries in the same region) and/or urbanisation externalities (across industries in the same region). Overall, the evidence reviewed in this survey highlights the need for policy makers to follow tailor-made approaches and to complement existing evidence with national level studies, maximizing potential productivity gains.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Co-evolution of institutions, culture and industrial organization in the film industry: the case of Shanghai in China

By: X. Rui, I. Mossig. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1300638, 2017.

Abstract: “Research about the Chinese film industry is far behind the actual development of practice, especially considering its evolution and main influential factors. Furthermore, existing research on the film industry in economic geography is mostly conducted from the perspective of cluster theory, with lesser attention to institutions or culture. In this paper, the theory of co-evolution is used to tackle these two gaps. The role of institutions, culture and industrial organization as three fundamental elements of co-evolution is pointed out and discussed in the theoretical section. The phenomena of co-evolution in the Shanghai film industry as important examples of the Chinese film industry are analysed in the empirical part. We phase the development process in four periods and differentiate identified effects of co-evolution between institutions, culture and industrial organization based on the specific setting in each particular period.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Path to Labor Formality: Urban Agglomeration and the Emergence of Complex Industries

By: N. O’Clery, A. Gomez-Lievano, E. Lora. CID Research Fellow and Graduate Student Working Paper No. 78, Harvard University, 2017.

Abstract: “Labor informality, associated with low productivity and lack of access to social security services, dogs developing countries around the world. Rates of labor (in)formality, however, vary widely within countries. This paper presents a new stylized fact, namely the systematic positive relationship between the rate of labor formality and the working age population in cities. We hypothesize that this phenomenon occurs through the emergence of complex economic activities: as cities become larger, labor is allocated into increasingly complex industries as firms combine complementary capabilities derived from a more diverse pool of workers. Using data from Colombia, we use a network-based model to show that the technological proximity (derived from worker transitions between industry pairs) of current industries in a city to potential new complex industries governs the growth of the formal sector in the city. The mechanism proposed has robust strong predictive power, and fares better than alternative explanations of (in)formality.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Proximity, knowledge base and the innovation process: towards an integrated framework

By: M. Davids, K. Frenken. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1287349, 2017.

Abstract: “Proximity, knowledge base and the innovation process: towards an integrated framework. Regional Studies. The proximity concept refers to types of inter-organizational relationships that are expected to facilitate interactive learning and collaborative innovation. Different forms of proximity include geographical, cognitive, social, institutional and organizational proximity. This paper argues that the relative importance of each proximity dimension depends on the type of knowledge being produced. It distinguishes between analytical, synthetic and symbolic knowledge, the intensity of which in turn varies with research, development and marketing stages of new product development. The case study of Unilever’s Becel diet margarine serves as a first example of such an integrated framework.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


How complex international partnerships shape domestic research clusters: Difference-in-difference network formation and research re-orientation in the MIT Portugal Program

By: M. D. Hird, S. M. Pfotenhauer. Reasearch Policy, Vol. 46, Iss. 3, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper proposes a novel mixed-method approach to study the impact of complex international capacity-building partnerships as an emerging policy tool at the crossroads of four major research policy trends − university-centrism, collaboration, internationalization, and growing structural complexity. We combine bibliometric network analysis with difference-in-difference program evaluation, statistical matching techniques, and system architecture analysis to evaluate complex research partnerships more adequately ‘in their own terms.’ We apply our method to one national “flagship” policy initiative − the MIT Portugal Program − where we compare program participants to a carefully assembled peer group of non-participant Portuguese researchers to assess the impact of MIT-Portugal with regard to idiosyncratic, more structurally oriented, and arguably less conventional program goals. As part of this methodological approach, we propose difference-in-differences Content Overlay Maps (“maps of science”) as a means to evaluate how program participants change their research focus over time relative to their national peers. These findings are complemented by an analysis of the collaborative network of participants and their institutions, as well as more traditional forms of impact assessment. Our findings indicate that complex international capacity-building partnerships can have a significant impact on the ‘hosting’ country in terms of cluster formation and research re-orientation. Moreover, they suggest that our mixed-method approach provides a valuable tool for evaluating complex capacity-building initiatives in ways that do justice to their one-of-a-kind architectures and goals. Future research should aim to study more closely the relationship between different program architectures and program impacts, and combine our largely quantitative approach with ongoing qualitative and interpretive policy analysis.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]