The Economics of Clusters

The Economics of Clusters : Lessons from the French Experience

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The development of clusters of economic activity is an important feature of industrial policy. Industry clusters have long fascinated economists and geographers alike, the most renowned being Silicon Valley which is seen by many as the blueprint for regional development, innovation, and growth. Several clusters have also developed across Europe, including SiliconFen in Cambridge and Minalogic in Grenoble, and in recent years cluster policies have become popular among policy makers as a useful tool for informing decisions on industrial, regional, and public policy. This book looks at the mechanisms at work behind cluster dynamics, the gains that can be expected from increased clustering, and the determinants of cluster policies. Focusing on France, it provides a theoretical and empirical study of clusters, their success and failures, and the policy lessons that can be applied to the wider international community. France is particularly interesting because there is a long tradition of strong government intervention regarding the location of economic activity, and cluster initiatives are relatively unified across the country. This book shows that, whilst gains from clusters do exist, some firms tend to cluster too much and that spatial agglomeration is only successful to a point, after which congestion effects can offset these gains. It questions the need and the feasibility of cluster policies aimed at interfering directly in the concentration process of firms, and thus looks beyond the general enthusiasm for clusters.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 20mm | 322.05g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 24 Figures, 9 Tables
  • 0199592209
  • 9780199592203
  • 1,135,031

About Florian Mayneris

Florian Mayneris is a postdoctoral researcher at CORE (Universite Catholique de Louvain). After graduate studies at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Sciences-Po and Sorbonne University, he completed his PhD in 2009 at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has also worked as a consultant for the French administration in charge of regional policy. His research focuses on the impact of agglomeration and trade on firm-level performance and on the evaluation of clusters policies.

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Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. The Economic Rationale of Clusters and Cluster Policies ; 3. The Evolution of French Economic Geography ; 4. Measuring Economic Gains from Clusters ; 5. Public Support for Clusters: A Case Study on

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