Clustering the Winners: The French Policy of Competitiveness Clusters
34 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2012
Date Written: September 15, 2010
In 2005 the French government launched a policy of competitiveness clusters, giving subsidies for innovative projects managed locally and collectively by firms, research centers and universities. This paper proposes an ex-ante analysis of the outcome of the selection process that took place before the implementation of the subsidies program, in order to assess whether the policy ended up in choosing winners or losers. We first ask how the clusters have been selected, and then focus on the selection of firms within the clusters, using export and productivity as a measure of performance. Our main conclusion is that public authorities have chosen the winners during the two-step selection procedure. Export premium, beyond what individual characteristics would predict, is however most visible within the category of clusters having no international ambition, where heterogeneity among firms is the largest.
Keywords: clusters, international trade, firm selection
JEL Classification: F1, F14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation