Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

November 9, 2010

# 10.13 The Role of Technological Gatekeepers in the Growth of Industrial Clusters: Evidence from Chile

Filed under: 2010 — Tags: , , , , — Noegg Blogger @ 8:46 am

Elisa Giuliani

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Industrial clusters are often associated with innovative success. However, there is very little research on what types of organizational models apply to clusters as they grow, to facilitate upgrading and innovation – and especially in emerging/developing countries. This paper uses longitudinal micro-level data for a wine cluster in Chile. They show that the most advanced firms in the cluster behave as Technological Gatekeepers – i.e. they acquire knowledge outside cluster boundaries and contribute to diffusing knowledge to other, potentially rival, local firms – and do so persistently over time. The results are explained by combining three theoretical perspectives: evolutionary economics theory; business studies on communities of practice and knowledge workers’ know-how trade; and embeddedness theory.

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