The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience

Hardcover | December 18, 2010

byGilles Duranton, Philippe Martin, Thierry Mayer

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The development of clusters of economic activity is an important feature of industrial policy. Industry clusters have long fascinated economists and geographers alike, the most renowned being Silicon Valley which is seen by many as the blueprint for regional development, innovation, andgrowth. Several clusters have also developed across Europe, including SiliconFen in Cambridge and Minalogic in Grenoble, and in recent years cluster policies have become popular among policy makers as a useful tool for informing decisions on industrial, regional, and public policy. This book looksat the mechanisms at work behind cluster dynamics, the gains that can be expected from increased clustering, and the determinants of cluster policies. Focusing on France, it provides a theoretical and empirical study of clusters, their success and failures, and the policy lessons that can be appliedto the wider international community. France is particularly interesting because there is a long tradition of strong government intervention regarding the location of economic activity, and cluster initiatives are relatively unified across the country. This book shows that, whilst gains fromclusters do exist, some firms tend to cluster too much and that spatial agglomeration is only successful to a point, after which congestion effects can offset these gains. It questions the need and the feasibility of cluster policies aimed at interfering directly in the concentration process offirms, and thus looks beyond the general enthusiasm for clusters.

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The development of clusters of economic activity is an important feature of industrial policy. Industry clusters have long fascinated economists and geographers alike, the most renowned being Silicon Valley which is seen by many as the blueprint for regional development, innovation, andgrowth. Several clusters have also developed acro...

Gilles Duranton is professor of economics and holds the Noranda chair in economics at the University of Toronto. A graduate from HEC Paris and Sorbonne University, he obtained his PhD in economics jointly from the LSE and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Paris. His research focuses on regional and urban issues. His emp...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pagesPublished:December 18, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199592209

ISBN - 13:9780199592203

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Economic Rationale of Clusters and Cluster Policies3. The Evolution of French Economic Geography4. Measuring Economic Gains from Clusters5. Public Support for Clusters: A Case Study on "French Local Productive Systems"