Clusters for Life or Life Cycles of Clusters: In Search of the Critical Factors of Cluster Resilience
Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Forthcoming
34 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2011 Last revised: 17 Dec 2013
Date Written: september 27, 2011
This paper investigates the driving forces behind the life cycles and resilience of technological clusters. It concentrates in particular on the combination of critical parameters that allows clusters to succeed in disconnecting their cycle from the cycle of the technologies they produce, in order to maintain stability and growth in unstable economic environments. Three propositions on location decision externalities, the life cycle of composite technologies, and the structural properties of knowledge networks, are developed and introduced in an inclusive study of cluster trajectories. Discussions show that resilient clusters are the ones that combine network and external audience effects in location decision-making, and evolve towards a specific core/periphery and disassortative structure of knowledge interactions along the knowledge and market phases. Understanding these pathways could be at the heart of the renewal of cluster and regional policy in a macro-economic context characterised by high instability and new growing consumer paradigms.
Keywords: cluster, location externalities, composite technology life cycle, core/periphery network, disassortativity, resilience
JEL Classification: D85, L14, O30, R12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation