TCI Network
20 November 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.


The visible hand of cluster policy makers: An analysis of Aerospace Valley (2006-2015) using a place-based network methodology

By: D. Lucena Piquero, J. Vicente. Utrecht University, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography No. 17.23, 2017.

Abstract: “The paper focuses on cluster policies with particular attention to the role of R&D collaborative incentives in the structuring of knowledge networks in clusters. We disentangle the main network failures in regional innovation systems, and discuss the selection procedures designed by policy makers to enhance the production of innovation outputs. We draw evidence from the French Aerospace Valley cluster from 2006 to 2015. The empirical analysis relies on a dataset of 248 granted research consortia, from which we build 4-cohorts knowledge networks enable us evidencing the evolving structural properties of the cluster over time. We suggest avoiding the bias and limitations of 1 and 2-mode network analysis by developing an original place- based network methodology that emphasizes on structural equivalence and groups behaviors. We discuss the results focusing on the convergence degree between the network statistical findings and the policy makers’ objectives. Finally, the methodology allows us identifying who are the agents of the structural and technological changes observed during the period.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

Cluster-internal and external drivers of cluster renewal: evidence from two German agricultural engineering case studies

By: D. Santner. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1385730, 2017.

Abstract: “The question on how regional clusters renew themselves and start a new cycle of prosperity is of vital interest for affected companies, politicians and regions. Recently, the idea of renewing clusters has been conceptualized within the cluster life cycle (CLC) literature. CLC approaches generally assume that cluster renewal is widely driven cluster-internally through agent capability building processes and the systemic utilization of novelty. Critique from other authors highlights the neglected role of the external environment in the CLC literature. This article sheds light on renewal processes in two German agricultural engineering clusters. It is shown that in the case of a farm trailer cluster renewal can be widely explained cluster-internally, while in the case of a stable technology cluster that diversified into the field of biogas technology, internal factors played a less significant role and much of the development was driven externally by political decisions on the national level. Possible explanations for diverging roles of cluster-internal and external factors lie in the differences in the stage of the novel technologies’ development and the complexity of the novel technology.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Logistics Centers and Agglomeration Economies: Logistics Clusters or Co-located Logistics Activities? The French Case

By: N. Bounie, C. Blanquart. Elsevier, World Conference on Transport Research, 2016.

Abstract: “This paper is concerned with the topic of clusters, which are concentrations of activities which provide their members with beneficial market and technological effects. In order to enrich debate on this issue, we shall focus here on a particular type of concentration (logistics) which differs from others in that it is both specific in nature and managed. In order to analyze the concentrations in question, which we shall refer to as logistics centers, statistical analysis of 733 logistics establishments is performed, some of which are located in such centers, others outside. The results of the analysis show that this form of concentration has impacts which contradict those reported in the literature on clusters, as our statistical results show that these logistics centers do not have beneficial effects for the firms located in them.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

Managing local supplier networks: conflict or compromise?

By: M. Mathews. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1360479, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper examines conflict management in small firm networks. Informal conflict management strategies used in exchange relationships are identified and analysed. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 22 small and medium- sized enterprise managers in an industrial district in the south-east of France are analysed. Results point to managers adopting accommodating behaviours in conflicts with clients and compromising and collaborative strategies with local partners. This research reveals the mobilization of local norms in the management of conflicts and also contributes to research concerning coopetition and the possibility that managers of small firms may both separate and integrate coopetition activities.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Industry in Britain – An Atlas

By: S. Bernick, R. Davies, A. Valero. Center for Economic Performance, Special Paper No. 34, 2017.

Abstract: “Living near a productive company can have considerable economic benefits. It means the chance of well-paid jobs, creates opportunities for suppliers of goods and services, and can be a boost to local retailers. This common-sense economic logic explains why policymakers consistently worry about the uneven spread of industry in Britain and, from time to time, conclude that it inefficient and unfair and that something new must be done. Now is one of those moments, with the government shortly set to launch a new “Industrial Strategy” which looks likely to include a new approach to regional policy. But while there is agreement across Britain’s political parties that the distribution of industry is a problem, little new analysis on the location and performance of British firms with an explicitly regional focus has been published recently. This paper, part of ongoing work on the economics of British industry at the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, starts to fill that gap. We present maps and charts setting out the latest data on firm location, together with geographic measures of employment, productivity, and innovation. Ten stylised facts emerge from our analysis, many of which challenge the prevailing wisdom: Finance is far less London-centric than the creative industries; the South-East is not the country’s productivity engine, rather a band stretching west from the capital towards Bristol is; the East of England stands out in terms of R&D intensity; and in addition to the North-South divide, disparities between coastal and inland areas are concerning. This clarification of the starting point is just the first step in a data-driven approach to industrial policy. Bigger questions—in particular analysis of the ideal spread of industry that policy should target, and the best tools to get there—loom large and also require new analysis.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

European R&D networks: A snapshot from the 7th EU Framework Programme

By: S. Amoroso, A. Coad, N. Grassano. JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation No. 05/2017, 2017.

Abstract: “Recent empirical studies have investigated the territorial impact of Europe’s research policies, in particular the contribution of the European Framework Pro- grammes to the integration of a European Research Area. This paper deepens the analysis on the integration and participation of peripheral regions, by focusing on the differences in intensity and determinants of inter-regional collaborations across three groups of collaborations. We consider collaborations among more developed regions, between more and less developed regions, and among less de- veloped regions. Building on the recent spatial interaction literature, this paper investigates the effects of physical, institutional, social and technological proxim- ity on the intensity of inter-regional research collaboration across heterogenous European regions. We find that the impact of disparities in human capital and technological proximity on regional R&D cooperation is relevant and differs across subgroups of collaborations. Moreover, despite the efforts of integrating marginal actors, peripheral regions have lower rates of collaborations.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]

Firm innovation benefits from regional triple-helix networks

By: I. Elvekrok, N. Veflen, E. R. Nilsen, A. H. Gausdal. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1370086, 2017.

Abstract: “This study investigates the value of constructed regional triple-helix networks for participating firms. Although participation in such networks is encouraged, the documentation of firm benefits is limited. The results from this longitudinal case study and survey study indicate that the primary benefits from network participation are increased access to knowledge and improved ability to meet challenges. Important characteristics of well-functioning networks are having a committed manager and common activities that build relationships. Lack of resources dedicated to networking limit a firm’s outcome, while participating in joint projects enhances it. The study contributes to the literature on network benefits and regional innovation policies.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Creativity and the City: Testing the Attenuation of Agglomeration Economies for the Creative Industries in Barcelona

By: E. Coll-Marti╠ünez. QURE & CREIP, Department of Economics (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), ISSN: 1576 – 3382, 2017.

Abstract: “The aim of this paper is to infer the spatial extent of agglomeration economies for the creative service industries (SCI) in Barcelona and its relationship with firms’ performance. Using data from Mercantile Register (SABI) that provides micro-geographic data of firms between 2006 and 2015 I estimate the effect of intra-industry and inter-industry agglomeration in rings around location on productivity in Barcelona. Main results are that, (1) for CSI, at a micro-spatial level, localisation economies are not so relevant, although much work still remains to be done on this issue; (2) while for Non-SCI having creative workers in the near proximity (250 metres) seems to enhance their productivity; and (3) for the symbolic-based CSI localisation economies – mainly understood as networking and knowledge externalities – have positive effects on TFP at shorter distances (less than 250 metres), while for the two other knowledge-based CSI (i.e., synthetic and analytical) localisation economies seem not to be so relevant. These results strongly suggest the importance of networking or information spillovers in CIs, which are strongly concentrated in the largest cities.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Analyzing the impact of R&D policy on regional diversification

By: T. Broekel, L. Mewes. Utrecht University, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography No. 17.26, 2017.

Abstract: “Existing studies on regional diversification highlight the impor- tance of local path dependencies and related competences. However, little attention has been paid to other factors potentially contributing to diversification processes. Foremost, this concerns the role of R&D policy. This study investigates the relation between R&D policy and regional technological diversification in German labor market regions from 1996 to 2010. We find no evidence for proactive R&D policies, as subsidized R&D projects do not promote regional technological diver- sification. In contrast, R&D subsidies’ allocation is rather risk-averse with subsidies being more likely allocated to already established tech- nologies and those related to region’s technology portfolio.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]