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Strengthening relationships in clusters: How effective is an indirect policy measure carried out in a peripheral technology district?

Giuseppe Calignano () and Rune Fitjar ()
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Giuseppe Calignano: University of Stavanger

The Annals of Regional Science, 2017, vol. 59, issue 1, 139-169

Abstract: Abstract Studies of the effects of specific policy measures for innovation have focused mainly on actions based on direct R&D support. However, the innovation studies literature sees innovation as an interactive process, emphasising the role of knowledge exchange for successful innovation. Furthermore, it is increasingly accepted that co-location is not sufficient for knowledge exchange to occur. Consequently, there is also a need to assess the effectiveness of policy measures to promote knowledge exchange between co-located actors. The objective of this paper is to narrow this gap by exploring the outcome of an indirect policy in stimulating coordination and networking. The paper analyses policies for increased networking in a mechatronics district located in the peripheral and less innovative region Apulia (Southern Italy). The success of the coordination and networking action is examined by adopting a longitudinal approach. In order to assess the association of the policy with the overall network structure, social network analysis is used to analyse the data. We compare characteristics of the network in the early and later phase of the district across five dimensions of knowledge exchange, identifying a large increase in the use of partnerships as the main effect of the policy.

JEL-codes: O O3 R1 R10 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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