nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒08‒20
three papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Nonearnings Income Migration in the United States: Anticipating the Geographical Impacts of Baby Boom Retirement By Peter B. Nelson
  2. The Structure of Cluster Knowledge Networks: Uneven and Selective, not Pervasive and Collective By Elisa Giuliani
  3. What Qualifies as a Cluster Theory? By Peter Maskell; Leïla Kebir

  1. By: Peter B. Nelson (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: This paper highlights geographic regions gaining and losing investment and social security income (collectively referred to as nonearnings income) through migration of baby boomers and their predecessors. There is a consistent Rustbelt to Sunbelt shift in nonearnings income due to migration, as well as movement down the urban hierarchy into nonmetropolitan destinations. The analysis further indicates migration of those over age 55 contributes to greater levels of economic disparity across space. Regions like the Plains are losing a higher proportion of well- to-do migrants in this age group, as individuals move to high amenity destinations in the Rocky Mountains. Such destinations are likely to enjoy significant economic benefits as these new sources arrive. The places of origin, however, are left with less-well-off populations posing significant social and economic problems. In contrast, baby boomer migration appears to benefit nonmetropolitan territories in all regions, and baby boomers with higher levels of per capita economic resources appear to be responsible for these nonmetropolitan income gains.
    Keywords: baby boomers, migration
    JEL: R11 R23
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: Elisa Giuliani
    Abstract: This study focuses on the relationship between industrial clustering and innovation. It contributes to this literature by showing two empirical properties of the cluster learning process: first, that the structure of the knowledge network in a cluster is related with the heterogeneous distribution of firm knowledge bases and, second, that business interactions and inter-firm knowledge flows are not highly co-occurring phenomena. In particular, this paper highlights how the heterogeneity of firms’ knowledge bases generates uneven distribution of knowledge and selective inter-firm learning. This study has been based on empirical evidence collected at firm level in three wine clusters in Italy and Chile. Methods of social network analysis have been applied to process the data.
    Keywords: Industrial clusters; knowledge flows; business interactions; networks
    JEL: O18 O30
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Peter Maskell; Leïla Kebir
    Abstract: This paper investigates the theoretical backgrounds of the "cluster" and proposes a framework aiming at drawing the contour of cluster theory. The profundity of the notion of "clusters" is arguably conditional on the coherence of four fundamental issues associated with the concept: 1) the economic and social benefits that may accrue to firms when clustering or co-locating (the existence argument); 2) the diseconomies encountered when clustering exceeds certain geographical and sectoral thresholds (the extension argument); 3) the advantages obtained by exploiting intra- cluster synergies rather engaging in external interaction (the exchange argument); and, finally, 4) the possible erosion of economies and onset of diseconomies over the lifecycle of the cluster (the exhaustion argument). Each of these four issues is examined in terms of three relevant major theoretical frameworks that can be brought to bear on the cluster concept. The paper considers approaches based on the idea of externalities (illustrated by the Marshall's work on "Industrial districts"); on competitiveness issue (illustrated by Michael Porter’s theory of cluster growth); on a territorial perspective (illustrated by the GREMI approach). The analysis acknowledges the general shift in explanatory emphasis from considerations of static cost efficiency towards more dynamic interpretations that highlight the creation and use of knowledge as their pivotal theoretical element. By placing these changes within a common conceptual framework the paper shows how different theoretical solutions provide distinct points of departure for subsequent policy recommendations. Three distinctive groups of solutions are identified focussing respectively on local spillovers, on competitiveness and on the region and its development. The paper concludes by identifying areas of particular ambiguity where further theoretical work is most urgently needed.
    Keywords: Cluster; cluster theory; industrial district; innovtive milieu; regional policy
    JEL: L22 R10 R58
    Date: 2005

This nep-ure issue is ©2005 by Steve Ross. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.