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The Question of Clusters in Lagging Regions: Do They Really Make the Difference? A Case Study in Romania

Daniela Constantin, Carmen Beatrice Pauna, Mariana Dragusin, Zizi Goschin and Constanta Bodea
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Carmen Beatrice Pauna: Institute of Economic Forecasting, Romanian Academy, Bucharest Calea 13 Septembrie 13, sector 5, RO-050711 Bucharest, Romania

Environment and Planning C, 2011, vol. 29, issue 5, 889-910

Abstract: We propose an empirical analysis of the clustering phenomenon in the Eastern part of Romania as a relevant example to support the idea that the question of clusters in lagging regions, usually with economic structures dominated by mid-tech and low-tech industries, could become an interesting niche for cluster-devoted research in forthcoming years. The specific features in two lagging Romanian regions have been investigated by means of geographic information systems, followed by an interview-based qualitative inquiry. The findings indicate that, despite its great potential, the clustering process has not yet reached an upper-level stage; it is still in a ‘start-up’ phase with a series of ‘economic agglomerations’ that could be mostly considered of a static-cluster type. Subsequent reflections on support policies suggest that local production systems of industrial-district type are an appropriate organisational form for cluster development in the two analysed regions, with a special emphasis on ‘soft’ measures that are able to strengthen the local networks and to ensure cluster identity.

Date: 2011
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DOI: 10.1068/c10112r

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