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The Economics of ClustersLessons from the French Experience$
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Gilles Duranton, Philippe Martin, Thierry Mayer, and Florian Mayneris

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199592203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592203.001.0001

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The Economic Rationale of Clusters and Cluster Policies

The Economic Rationale of Clusters and Cluster Policies

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 The Economic Rationale of Clusters and Cluster Policies
Source:
The Economics of Clusters
Author(s):

Gilles Duranton

Philippe Martin

Thierry Mayer

Florian Mayneris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592203.003.0002

Cluster proponents and cluster policies are usually very vague about what they mean by clusters. This chapter starts from a well‐accepted definition of clusters by a major figure in this area, Michael Porter. The chapter then explores from a theoretical perspective what this definition implies for clusters. It shows that the assumptions typically made about clusters, which are often sensible empirically, lead to conclusions which are strongly at odds with existing policy recommendations. While the model used is arguably simple, it is also shown that reasonable refinements towards greater realism make the case for cluster policies even weaker.

Keywords:   clusters, cluster development, policy, theory, local externalities

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