Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 37-2014
Although the phase of euphoria seems to be over, policymakers and regional agencies have maintained their interest in cluster policy. Modern cluster theory provides reasons for positive external effects that may accrue from interaction in a group of proximate enterprises operating in common and related fields. While there is some progress in locating clusters, in most cases only limited knowledge on the geographical extent of regional clusters is established. The present paper presents a hybrid approach to cluster identification. While dominant buyer-supplier relations are derived by qualitative input-output analysis (QIOA) from national I-O tables, potential regional clusters are identified by spatial scanning. This procedure is employed to identify clusters of German R&D intensive industries. In a sensitivity analysis, good robustness properties of the hybrid approach are revealed with respect to variations in the quantitative cluster composition.