KTH/CESIS Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation
Political Entrepreneurship, Cluster Policies and Regional Growth
Abstract: In recent years and not least after the latest financial
and economic crisis, we have seen a strongly renewed interest for
industrial policy to get the developed economies growing again. The
political entrepreneurs, i.e. the politicians and their experts and
advisers have been hunting desperately for new approaches to industrial
policy. With political entrepreneurs, we here understand
politicians/bureaucrats/civil servants/authorities within publically
financed activities that with different methods try to stimulate
entrepreneurship and self-employment with the overall goal to increase
employment and economic growth. The renewed interest for industrial policy
and the increased importance of political entrepreneurs motivate that we
once again ask the fundamental question about what shall be the proper
focus, measures and extent of industrial policy. Shall the industrial
policy be vertical and focus at specific industries and even specific
companies or shall it be horizontal and focus at improving the general
conditions for all industries and firms? However, there is a related and
partly more controversial question, namely, what is the proper spatial
scale for the policy interventions by the political entrepreneurs? Shall
the industrial policy focus at certain places and possibly focus at
existing and/or emerging industrial clusters or shall it be spatially
neutral and not try to discriminate between different regions and places?
The purpose of this paper is to throw some light over all above questions
but with some extra focus at the questions concerning the spatial aspects.
The above questions are by no means new but there are today very good
reasons to throw new light at them not least against the back¬ground of
EU´s new industrial and regional policy that aims at achieving ‘smart
specialization’, what that now may be.
Keywords: Political entrepreneurship; industrial policy; clusters; smart specialization; regional growth; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: L38; L52; L53; R11; R58; (follow links to similar papers)
16 pages, June 1, 2015
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