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Do firms in clusters perform better? Lessons from wood-processing industries in new EU member states

Nebojsa Stojcic, Ivan-Damir Anić and Zoran Aralica

Forest Policy and Economics, 2019, vol. 109, issue C

Abstract: The economic structure of many advancing economies is dominated by labour-, scale. and resource-intensive industries. Recent advances in the field of digital technologies threaten the foundations of these traditional sectors and motivate the search for policies that would help sustain jobs and secure the survival and growth of firms. The European Union places clusters high on the policy agenda as instruments for fostering industrial transformation, and increasing firm performance and competitiveness. This paper investigates the impact of clusters on firm performance in traditional wood-processing and furniture industries from two new Central European member states of the European Union during the post-crisis period of 2013–2016. The findings indicate that clusters have a positive impact on firm productivity, sales revenues, size, and export performance. Cluster members also have a higher probability of becoming high growth firms and they offer higher wages to their employees. These findings support the view that clusters are an important driver of firms’ growth and competitiveness and support the existence of cluster policies.

Keywords: Traditional industries; Industry clusters; Firm performance; New EU member states; Cluster associations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H43 L14 L25 L26 L73 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.102043

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