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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Regional clusters - miracle tool of regional policy?





Projektleiterin / Projektleiter

Projektmitarbeiterin / Projektmitarbeiter

  • Litzel, Nicole (Universität Regensburg, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre & Ökonometrie)
  • Maier, Gunther (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Forschungsinstitut für Raum- und Immobilienwirtschaft)
  • Möller, Joachim (Universität Regensburg - WiWi-Fakultät, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre)
  • Otto, Anne
  • Wrobel, Martin


Mai 2006


Juni 2007


Since it has been proposed and made popular mainly by Michael Porter, the concept of clusters has caught the imagination of many regional policy makers. From a European perspective it seems that every region has identified at least one cluster by now and many have targeted substantial amounts of resources toward these clusters and policies for supporting them. The concept of clusters plays a prominent role in the current discussion of the restructuring of European regional policy and major regions in Europe have implemented clustering as a guiding principle of major parts of their policy.

While many regional policy makers put a lot of emphasis and most of their funds on cluster policies, there is only very limited empirical evidence that cluster policy is actually able to promote a regional economy. The available empirical evidence is case study oriented and typically shows that companies that have been subject to cluster policy instruments benefit from this exposure. Such positive effects, it is then argued, have to be positive also for the region where these companies are located. This conclusion, however, is premature and not supported by theory. The funds allocated to the policy might have even more beneficial effects when allocated in some other area, crowding out effects may hurt the rest of the regional economy more than the benefits generated in the cluster-firms, the targeting of resources toward one or few sectors may distort the structure of the regional economy in such a way that in the long run the regional competitiveness is hampered rather than promoted.

The aim of  the project is to compare approaches of several countries ant thereby  take a critical look at the cluster concept. It will review the history and the theoretical basis of the concept, discuss its advantages and disadvantages, and most importantly evaluate it empirically from a regional economic point of view. The proposed book will collect contributions by authors



Beteiligte Institute

  • Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung der Bundesagentur für Arbeit
  • Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Forschungsinstitut für Raum- und Immobilienwirtschaft
  • Universität Regensburg - WiWi-Fakultät, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre
  • Universität Regensburg, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre & Ökonometrie


Publikationen zum Projekt