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SME?s cluster identification in Russia

Vera Barinova and Stepan Zemtsov ()

ERSA conference papers from European Regional Science Association

Abstract: Russia inherited pattern of economic activity location from the Soviet Union, where the main forms of industry organization were territorial-production complexes (TPC) - networks of industrial organizations united by a single technological process or the chain of raw materials processing. In a market economy in the 90s, economic ties within the TPC were destroyed, leading to a drop in the level of production, fragmentation of large enterprises and the formation of a set of independent and often competing firms. Some scientists believe that this situation over the last 20 years could serve as a necessary foundation for the formation of industrial clusters (in interpretation of modern regional science). Today, interest in clusters in Russia rises again due to the need to find new mechanisms to support production and innovation in a stagnant economy. Ministry of Economic Development of Russia has developed a project to support the pilot territorial innovative clusters by providing funding for infrastructure formation. The selection of cluster initiatives was based on applications from regional governments, interested in attracting of additional investment. Most of the clusters, formed in Russia, are not in innovative sectors, as shown by studies of the Russian Cluster Observatory. But a lot of potential clusters in Russia is not formed due to the high level of distrust between firms, due to lack of understanding of the potential benefits, etc., although these clusters can develop due to geographical proximity (high concentration) of firms. The aim of our work is to identify clusters as areas of geographical concentration of small and medium businesses (SME). We also wanted to check whether the existing cluster initiatives correspond to the concentration of economic activity and whether there is potential for increasing the cluster initiatives. In our work, we use the analysis based on the localization index, but on three geographical levels for verification reasons: regions, districts and cities. Most of the data were collected from RUSLANA database, consisting information of Russian firms. After identifying a high degree of localization of a particular industry or a group of industries, we analyze the location of enterprises, based on distance-oriented methods in specific regions or between regions. The result is a map of the high concentration and localization of small and medium businesses in certain areas in a number of industries. The authors confirmed the existence of traditional and well-known clusters and identified previously unknown concentration of firms that did not declare their interaction. In the last step, the authors conducted field research - a survey of firms in areas of concentration, where clusters today are not formed, for determining the reasons for the lack of interaction.

Keywords: cluster identification; localization; SME; Russian regions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C19 L70 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-cse, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-sbm and nep-tra
Date: 2015-10
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