When do global pipelines enhance knowledge diffusion in clusters?

Economic Geography, 86(1): 77-96

This article is co-authored with Andrea Morrison and Lorenzo Zirulia.

Recent studies have stressed the role played by global pipelines in fostering the growth of clusters and innovativeness. In this article, we develop a formal model to investigate when global pipelines contribute to an increase in local knowledge, depending on various characteristics of clusters such as size, knowledge endowment, and the ease of transmission of internal knowledge. This model is an extension of Cowan and Jonard’s (2004) model in which we introduce the concept of cluster and a role for spatial proximity in the diffusion of knowledge. Our results reveal that there is a natural tendency of actors within global pipelines to act as external stars, rather than gatekeepers of knowledge. Global pipelines are beneficial for the accumulation of knowledge only if the cluster is either characterized by a high-quality local buzz or is small and weakly endowed in terms of knowledge.


Knowledge and information networks in an Italian wine cluster

European and Planning Studies, 17(7): 983-1006

The paper is in collaboration with Andrea Morrison.

The aim is to analyse the nature and extent of knowledge and information networks in an Italian wine cluster. Moreover, the relation between firms’ characteristics and the knowledge network structure is also explored. The empirical findings show that knowledge is unevenly distributed in clusters and that networks of knowledge and information differ a great deal in terms of their structure. In fact, knowledge flows are restricted to a tightly connected community of local producers, differing in terms of knowledge assets, innovation behaviour and overall economic performance with respect to the rest of the firms in the cluster.

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The Role of Research in Wine: the Emergence of a Regional Research Area in an Italian Wine Production System

International Journal of Technology and Globalization 3(2/3): 155- 178

The article is written in collaboration with Andrea Morrison.

In recent years, the wine industry has undergone a radical technological modernisation in which scientific research has become extremely prominent. Focusing on a regional research system related to wine, we provide a detailed account of the structural features of the research and extension institutions in the Piedmont region and how they interact. The empirical analysis is based on detailed interviews with people from research centres, universities, extension agencies as well as on a database of research projects on topics relevant to the wine industry. Social network analysis is employed to describe the structural properties of the networks that have been established among universities, research and business organisations and firms, as a result of these projects. Based on these two data sources we provide a detailed picture of the actors, linkages and processes underpinning the regional wine research system.