Chapter

Regional competitiveness: clusters or dynamic comparative advantage?

Ron Martin and Peter Sunley

in Competition, Competitive Advantage, and Clusters

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199578030
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724923 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578030.003.0012
Regional competitiveness: clusters or dynamic comparative advantage?

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This chapter offers a critique of the claim that clustering is a key source of competitive advantage both for the firms involved and for the region where a cluster is located. The chapter examines the conceptual and empirical foundations for this argument. It outlines the key elements in Porter's theory of ‘clusters as drivers of competitiveness’. It then moves on to the question of whether the available empirical evidence supports the model: are firms inside clusters more competitive than their counterparts outside clusters? This discussion then turns to considering how the cluster model differs from other modern reinterpretations of comparative advantage. The chapter argues that the cluster approach can be subsumed within a more general dynamic comparative advantage perspective on regional competitiveness. Some implications for cluster-based regional policies rounds off the chapter.

Keywords: Michael Porter; regional competitiveness; clusters; dynamic comparative advantage

Chapter.  11219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business Strategy

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