Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

March 20, 2017

# 17.07 The spatial evolution of the Italian motorcycle industry (1893-1993): Klepper’s heritage theory revisited

Andrea Morrison, Ron Boschma


This paper investigates the spatial evolution of the Italian motor cycle industry during the period 1893-1993. We find support for both the heritage theory of Klepper and the agglomeration thesis of Marshall. Indeed, being a spinoff company or an experienced firm enhanced the survival rates, but we also found a positive effect of being located in the Motor Valley cluster in Emilia Romagna. Interestingly, this beneficial effect of a cluster could not be found outside the Emilia Romagna region. This might indicate the importance of a favourable local institutional environment, as propagated by the Emilian district literature.

November 9, 2016

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

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 5:13 pm

Yana Borissenko and Ron Boschma


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 system; (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 system; (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.

May 27, 2016

# 16.13 Tie creation versus tie persistence in cluster knowledge networks

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 12:37 pm

Sándor Juhász, Balázs Lengyel


Knowledge networks in industrial clusters are frequently analyzed but we know very little about creation and persistence of ties in these networks. We argue that tie creation primarily depends on opportunities and thus the position ofactors in the network and in space; while tie persistence is influenced by the value of the tie. Accordingly, results from a Hungarian printing and paper product cluster suggest that reciprocity, triadic closure, and geographical proximity between firms increase the probability of tie creation. Tie persistence is positively affected by technological proximity between firms and the number of their extra-regional ties.

February 3, 2016

# 16.03 The workforce of pioneer plants

Ricardo Hausmann, Frank Neffke


Is labor mobility important in technological diffusion? We address this question by asking how plants assemble their workforce if they are industry pioneers in a location. By definition, these plants cannot hire local workers with industry experience. Using German social-security data, we find that such plants recruit workers from related industries from more distant regions and local workers from less-related industries. We also show that pioneers leverage a low-cost advantage in unskilled labor to compete with plants that are located in areas where the industry is more prevalent. Finally, whereas research on German reunication has often focused on the effects of east-west migration, we show that the opposite migration facilitated the industrial diversication of eastern Germany by giving access to experienced workers from western Germany.

January 20, 2015

# 15.01 Persistence and extinction of brokerage roles in clusters: the role of status, former experiences and extra-cluster relationships

Filed under: 2015 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 1:30 pm

José-Antonio Belso-Martínez and Manuel Expósito-Langa


Shifting away from traditional approaches orientated towards the analysis of the benefits associated with brokerage, this paper provides valuable insights on the dynamics of this particular network position. Using fine grain micro data collected in a Spanish industrial cluster, the evolution of five different brokerage profiles is analysed in depth. Particularly, we observe how firm-level characteristics (status, former mediating experience and external openness), and their interactions may generate changes in the different brokerage roles over a period of time. Findings endorse our expectations mainly based on the social capital and network approaches. Status and previous mediating experience facilitate the creation of partnerships, fostering brokerage. Conversely, interaction effects demote brokerage activity at the intra-cluster level, suggesting the selective nature of broker’s relational behaviour.

May 15, 2013

# 13.09 Spinoffs and Clustering

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 8:53 am

Russell Golman, Steven Klepper


Geographic clustering of industries is typically attributed to localized, pecuniary or non-pecuniary externalities. Recent studies across innovative industries suggest that explosive cluster growth is associated with the entry and success of spinoff firms. We develop a model to explain the patterns regarding cluster growth and spinoff formation and performance, without relying on agglomeration externalities. Clustering naturally follows from spinoffs locating near their parents. In our model, firms grow and spinoffs form through the discovery of new submarkets based on innovation. Rapid and successful innovation creates more opportunities for spinoff entry and drives a region’s growth.

November 24, 2012

# 12.22 Agglomeration vs. Organizational Reproduction: The Molds Cluster in Portugal

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 10:25 am

Carla Costa and Rui Baptista


The mechanisms driving regional clustering are examined by exploring two theories: agglomeration economies and organizational reproduction. While organizational reproduction through spinoffs dominates clusters’ early stages of growth, in clusters populated by small, vertically disintegrated firms accessing networks of external capabilities, agglomeration economies should emerge as a positive force. We examine just such a cluster: the molds industry in Portugal. Our empirical approach is twofold: first, we examine the early evolution (1946–1986) of the industry; second, we use detailed data on firms and founders for the period 1987–2009 to test the predictions of the two theories. We find that while organizational reproduction has played a major role in clustering, agglomeration economies recently have gained influence.

May 25, 2012

# 12.09 Micro-geographies of clusters of creative industries in Europe

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 7:42 am

Rafael Boix, José Luis Hervás-Oliver, Blanca De Miguel-Molina


What makes special the geography of the clusters of creative industries (CI)? This paper considers the symbolic knowledge-base and the preference for location in urban spaces observed in those clusters. The study avoids classic research designs based on synthetic knowledge bases and regional-based administrative-constrained design, using instead micro-data (550,000 firms in creative industries) and geo-statistical algorithms. Results contribute to the economic geography by: (i) providing a specific observation of the spatial dimension (where) in the cluster theory; (ii) identifying and mapping the clusters of CI in Europe; (iii) exploring particular forms of agglomeration and co-location (urban and non-urban) followed by clusters of CI. Results present implications for scholars and policy-makers suggesting to stress the articulation of within and between-cluster policy strategies for existing clusters rather than fostering the generation of new clusters.

May 19, 2012

# 12.07 The trilogy of knowledge spillovers in French regions: a history of nature, channels and boundaries

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 10:04 am

Olivier Brossard and Inès Moussa


We suggest three theoretical propositions on the nature, channels and boundaries of knowledge spillovers, and we test them with knowledge production functions estimated on French NUTS 3 regions over 2002–2008. Several novelties are introduced. First, we quantify external R&D to complement the usual internal R&D variable and assess the effect of knowledge nature on knowledge spillovers. Second, we construct several measures of the quantity and quality of regional knowledge diffusion channels and introduce them in our knowledge production functions. Third, we test several spatial panel specifications to assess robustness and evaluate the geographical boundaries of various types of knowledge spillovers. All methods converge to provide evidence for the following: 1) spillovers from internal R&D are larger than spillovers from external R&D; 2) the quantity and quality of regional knowledge transmission channels are important determinants of regional innovation; and 3) industrial and technological diversity produce positive knowledge externalities, not only locally but also in the neighbourhood of French regions.

# 12.06 Are technological gatekeepers constraining my cluster? Unfolding the paradox of gatekeepers resilience across cluster life cycle stages

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 9:50 am

Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver


The economic geography literature assumes that large leading firms (technology gatekeepers ) (TGs) with high absorptive capacity and high-intensity R&D expenditures, shape the district learning process. However, there is an absence in the literature of a dynamic analysis of the role of the TG. Instead, most of the evidence provided is set at a single point in time and considers only one stage of the cluster life cycle (CLC). This paper challenges the aforementioned assumption, and introduces into the discussion two important influences on outcomes: the type of knowledge created (whether it be continuous or radical) in the cluster by technology gatekeepers, and the stage of the cluster life cycle (CLC) at which that knowledge is created. This work addresses the roles of the TG and the CLC together, responding to the gap that not much is known about the role and the persistence of the TG dynamically across different stages of the cluster life cycle. Using qualitative longitudinal case-study research, a world-class cluster is analysed over the last twenty years. The results show that there are temporary technological gatekeepers across cluster life cycles which assume the (temporary) role of leaders when it is a question of bringing in disruptive knowledge. The study’s findings have important implications for scholars and policymakers.

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