TCI Network
02 July 2014

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Michael Keller, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg.

The Role of Leading Firms in the Evolution of SME Clusters: Evidence from the Leather Products Cluster in Florence

By : Filippo Randelli and Mauro Lombardi. European Planning Studies, Volume 22, Issue 6, Pages 1199-1211, 2014.

Abstract: « Clusters that emerged in the past have changed during the latest decades, so that today the research challenge in economic geography is on their evolution over time. The aim of this paper is to update the evolutionary path of SME Italian clusters, which faced the economic crisis are undergoing a process of decline in the number of firms. Furthermore, changes in the techno-economic landscape and in the competitive environment have generated new challenges. In this context, some leading firms, able to connect local resources (and firms) to global networks, have emerged over time and today they act as a gatekeeper. The focus will be on local networks interacting with leading firms and particular attention will be devoted to the pattern of co-evolution and to the geographical dimension of this co-evolutionary process. To empirically verify if other firms in the cluster may co-evolve with the leading firm over time, a deep analysis of the Gucci network in the leather products cluster in Florence will be carried out.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Are clusters more resilient in crises? Evidence from French exporters in 2008-2009

By : Philippe Martin, Thierry Mayer and Florian Mayneris. Centre for Economic Policy Research, DP9667.

Abstract: « Clusters have already been extensively shown to favor firm-level economic performance (productivity, exports, innovation etc.). However, little is known about the capacity of firms in clusters to resist economic shocks. In this paper, we analyze whether firms that agglomerate in clusters and firms that have been selected to benefit from the "competitiveness cluster'' industrial policy, implemented in France in 2005, have performed better on export markets during the recent economic turmoil. We show that, on average, both agglomeration and the cluster policy are associated with a higher survival probability of firms on export markets, and conditioning on survival, a higher growth rate of their exports. However, these effects are not stronger during the 2008-2009 crisis; if anything, the opposite is true. We then show that this weaker resilience of competitiveness cluster firms is probably due to the fact that firms in clusters are more dependent on the fate of the ``leader'', i.e. the largest exporter in the cluster.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Knowledge, innovation and space

By : Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson, Kiyoshi Kobayashi and Roger R. Stough. CESIS Electronic Working Paper Series, Paper No. 367.

Abstract: « This paper provides an overview of relevant topics in contemporary research concerned with global, national, regional and local knowledge and innovation dynamics. In particular, we highlight how the global scene is changing in the contemporary world economy that we characterize as a knowledge economy. We show how knowledge and knowledge dynamics is driving innovation in the large urban agglomerations in the old and in new industri-alized countries with their concentrations of abilities and resources and their superior intraregional and international geographical proximities. In relation to the large urban agglomerations we stress the role of (i) density and proximity externalities, (ii) the physical and cultural resource base of large cities, and (iii) the interactive dynamics related to learning and creativity.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Industrial Clusters and Economic Performance in Brazil

By : Jose Claudio Linhares Pires, Tulio Cravo, Simon Lodato and Caio Piza. IDB WORKING PAPER SERIES No. IDB-WP-475.

Abstract: « Industrial clusters, which are commonly targeted to receive financial support allocated to locally based development projects, are seen as an effective industrial policy tool for improving productivity and generating employment. Nevertheless, identifying clusters and assessing their economic performance is a challenge for policymakers. This paper aims to address this challenge by identifying the location of clusters based on neighbor relationships and specialization in Brazil and providing some insights on their effects on employment generation. The paper uses both Location Quotient and Local Indicator of Spatial Association to identify potential clusters in 27 industrial sectors in 5564 Brazilian municipalities. In addition, it uses annual municipal panel data for 2006-2009 to assess whether the presence of potential clusters is correlated with employment generation. The results show that clusters located in municipalities whose neighbors have similar industrial structures perform better than those that present industry specialization only.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Agglomeration effects of inter-firm backward and forward linkages: evidence from Japanese manufacturing investment in China

By : Kentaro Nakajima, Toshiyuki Matsuura and Nobuaki Yamashita. AJRC Working Paper 01/2014.

Abstract: « This paper examines the agglomeration effects of multinational firms on the location decisions of first-time Japanese manufacturing investors in China for the period 1995–2007. This is accomplished by exploiting newly constructed measures of inter-firm backward and forward linkages formed in a home country. The conditional and mixed logit estimates reveal that agglomeration by first-tier suppliers and customers draws subsequent investment into a location. However, such agglomeration effects are not pervasive and do not extend to the second and third tiers. Instead, we find that agglomeration by third-tier suppliers generates a countervailing force, making a location relatively unattractive.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


How Does Agglomeration Promote the Product Innovation of Chinese Firms?

By : ZHANG Hong-yong. RIETI Discussion Paper Series 14-E-022.

Abstract: « This study empirically analyzes the effect of agglomeration economies on firm-level product innovation (new products), using Chinese firm-level data from 1998 to 2007. In terms of new product introduction and new product output, Chinese firms benefit from urbanization economies (as measured by the number of workers in other industries in the same city and by the diversity of industries in the same city). Conversely, there were no positive effects of localization economies (as measured by the number of other workers working for neighboring firms in the same industry and in the same city). These results suggest that, in China, urbanization economies play an important role in fostering product innovation by urban size and diversity.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Cities as spatial clusters

By : Ferdinand Rauch. Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 759-773, 2014.

Abstract : «This article shows that Zipf’s Law for cities can emerge as a property of a clustering process. If initially uniformly distributed people chose their location based on a specific gravity equation as found in trade studies, they will form cities that follow Zipf’s Law in expected value. This view of cities as spatial agglomerations is supported empirically by the observation that larger cities are surrounded by larger hinterland areas and larger countryside populations.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Entrepreneurship in a Regional Context: Historical Roots, Recent Developments and Future Challenges

By : Michael Fritsch and David J. Storey. Regional Studies, Volume 48, Issue 6, Pages 939-954, 2014.

Abstract: « This paper reviews research on regional new business formation published in four special issues of Regional Studies over a period of 30 years. It is observed that over those decades there has been a heightened recognition of the role of both formal institutions and ‘soft’ factors such as social capital and a culture of entrepreneurship. However, the core challenge is to explain why, in several high-income countries, despite these claimed cultural changes, the relative position of regions with regard to new business formation exhibits little or no variation over long periods of time.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Creation and Alignment of the Eco-innovation Strategy Model to Regional Innovation Strategy: A Case from Lahti (Päijät-Häme Region), Finland

By : Virgilio Panapanaan, Tuomo Uotila and Anne Jalkala. European Planning Studies, Volume 22, Issue 6, Pages 1212-1234, 2014.

Abstract: This study focuses on the importance of eco-innovation in regional innovation strategy and policy development. It is conducted to get an in-depth understanding and learning about eco-innovation at the regional level and to draw some principles that are important in creating and aligning the eco-innovation strategy model to regional innovation strategy. The study highlights the new eco-innovation strategy model called SAMPO which was created and developed through a series of multi-stakeholder consultations which embodied the strengthening of the region's expertise—learning and knowledge-generating environment, design and innovation. These three areas of regional expertise are translated in the SAMPO model as three spearheads of innovation activities categorized as practice-based innovation, eco-design and sustainable innovation. Some principles are derived from the creation of the SAMPO model and put forward as strategic learning points in regional innovation strategy. The SAMPO model as positively acknowledged by the Päijät-Häme Regional Council, business clusters, research institutes and academic organizations may serve as a new framework that is useful in formulating and recreating eco-innovation policy in the region.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Impact of Innovations on Growth and Stagnation Regions in Poland

By : PaweĊ‚ Churski and Joanna Dominiak. European Planning Studies, Volume 22, Issue 6, Pages 1143-1164, 2014.

Abstract: « The goal of this article is to identify the impact of innovations on growth and stagnation regions in Poland. The research procedure consists of two stages. At stage one, Polish administrative units (voivodeships) were arranged on a scale of economically robust and weak regions following data clustering, indicators organized in line with the following aspects of social and economic growth: (1) population and settlement, (2) the economy structure and the labour market, (3) the technical infrastructure and spatial accessibility and (4) the financial situation and level of affluence. Stage two includes identification of the relation between the regional diversification and the distribution of growth and stagnation regions in Poland which is based on canonical correlation.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Entrepreneurial innovation: The importance of context

By : Erkko Autio, Martin Kenney, Philippe Mustar, Don Siegel, and Mike Wright. Research Policy, Volume 43, Issue 7, Pages 1097–1108, 2014.

Abstract: « The purpose of this article and the special issue is to improve our understanding of the theoretical, managerial, and policy implications of entrepreneurial innovation. We accomplish this objective by examining the role of context in stimulating such activity, as well as its impact on the outcomes of entrepreneurial innovation. Our analysis begins by outlining an overarching framework for entrepreneurial innovation and context. With reference to this framework we then compare the attributes of national innovation systems, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial innovation, and categorize contextual influences on entrepreneurial innovation. We then situate the papers presented in this special issue within this framework. We conclude by outlining an agenda for additional research on this topic, focusing on the relationships between contexts and entrepreneurial innovation and then discuss policy implications, focusing on how public and private actors can meet these challenges.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Handbook Of Research On Entrepreneurship And Creativity

By : Edited by Rolf Sternberg and Gerhard Krauss. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2014.

Abstract: « This Handbook focuses on the interdependent relationship between entrepreneurship and creativity. This relationship is analysed from the perspective of different disciplines, including economic geography, sociology, education, economics, psychology, and also in different spatial contexts. Creativity and entrepreneurship are central concepts for understanding the driving forces in 21st century capitalist economies and societies. Rolf Sternberg and Gerhard Krauss provide an expert introduction to the role of creativity in the field of entrepreneurship, and vice versa. This Handbook assembles some of the leading scholars in the field to provide empirical and conceptual contributions, which provide the reader with a unique guide to the progress of research in this area. Of particular interest are the exploration of the influence of the spatial context, and the overview of government policy attempts to support entrepreneurship and creative economic development. This book will appeal to researchers and scholars interested in entrepreneurship and creativity issues, coming from a wide range of academic disciplines. These readers will find an up-to-date presentation of existing and new directions for research in their domains. The Handbook will also be of great interest to policymakers at the national, regional and local level, who will find valuable insights about the linkages between creativity, entrepreneurship and economic development.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITORS]


Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship In Low-Tech Industries

By : Edited by Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen and Isabel Schwinge. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2014.

Abstract: « This book contributes to the discussion about the relevance of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship for industrial innovation in the context of traditional low-technology industries. There is a widespread assumption that low-tech industries offer limited opportunities for entrepreneurial activity due to their mature character. Yet there are indications that the phenomenon is finally emerging in these traditional sectors. This detailed book contributes to the ongoing political debate on relevant policy measures to promote future industrial innovation. It extends awareness of the relevance of low-tech industries for future economic and societal development, linking both scientific and political perspectives. Detailed chapters identify the typical patterns, prerequisites and impacts of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, as well as the distribution of entrepreneurial activities in low-tech sectors. The authors conclude with policy recommendations to promote such activities. This book will appeal to social scientists, economists and students of innovation and entrepreneurship studies. Policy-makers and company representatives will also find much of interest in this book, with its surprising insights into a field that has been so far neglected in the scientific as well as the policy-oriented debate.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITORS]