Reflections on Cluster Policies

22 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2012  

Steven Brakman

University of Groningen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Charles van Marrewijk

Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Economics; International Business School Suzhou at XJTLU

Date Written: October 23, 2012

Abstract

Economic activity tends to cluster. This results in productivity gains. For policy makers this offers an opportunity to formulate and promote policies that foster clustering of economic activity. Paradoxically, although agglomeration rents are often found in empirical research a rationale for cluster policies does not exist. A brief tour through the literature shows that cluster policies face more problems than is often assumed in policy circles. We reflect on the main issues at stake and conclude that, if not carefully applied, cluster policy may do more harm than good.

Keywords: economic clusters, regional policy, agglomeration

JEL Classification: F400, F500, R500

Suggested Citation

Brakman, Steven and van Marrewijk, Charles, Reflections on Cluster Policies (October 23, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3963. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2165789

Steven Brakman (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
+31 50 363 3746 (Phone)
+31 50 363 3730 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Charles Van Marrewijk

Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands
*31-(0)30-2539810 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.charlesvanmarrewijk.nl

International Business School Suzhou at XJTLU ( email )

111 Ren Ai Road
Dushu Lake Higher Education Town
Suzhou, Jiangsu Province 215123
China
86 185 5127 3504 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/

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