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Cluster policies and cluster institutions: an opportunity to bind economic and social dimensions?

Anastasiia Konstantynova () and James Wilson

Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, 2017, vol. 44, issue 4, No 6, 457-472

Abstract: Abstract Policies to support clusters of firms and other territorially-rooted agents are as popular today as they have ever been. While contemporary cluster policy most commonly adopts a microeconomic perspective to support business competitiveness, cluster policy practice remains strongly influenced also by the social foundations that can be found in the industrial district concept. This paper critically analyses contemporary cluster policy by incorporating an institutional perspective that seeks to enable greater understanding of the relevance of local community, systems of values, and informal institutions for cluster policy practices. Supported by a brief analysis of the diversity of cluster policies that are found in seven European regions, the paper makes a first step in highlighting the potential space for cluster policies to work more explicitly on the social embeddedness of clusters in their territories. This agenda requires more research, which could build on Giacomo Becattini’s key ideas in responding to the increasing sensitivity of both academics and policy makers to the intractability of the economic and social aspects of territorial development processes.

Keywords: Cluster policy; Industrial districts; Institutions; Competitiveness; Social embeddedness; Becattini (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B25 L38 L50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s40812-017-0081-x

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Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics is currently edited by C. Cambini, M.G. Colombo, L. Piscitello, L. Rondi and A. Zanfei

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