Clustering and firm performance in project-based industries : the case of the global video game industry, 1972-2007

M. Vaan, de, R.A. Boschma, K. Frenken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Explanations of spatial clustering based on localization externalities are being questioned by recent empirical evidence showing that firms in clusters do not outperform firms outside clusters. We propose that these findings may be driven by the particularities of the industrial settings chosen in these studies. We argue that in project-based industries, negative localization externalities associated with competition grow proportionally with cluster size, while positive localization externalities increase more than proportionally with cluster size. By studying the survival patterns of 4607 firms and 1229 subsidiaries in the global video game industry, we find that the net effect of clustering becomes positive after a cluster reaches a critical size. We further unravel the subtleties of the video game industry by differentiating between exits by failure and exit by acquisition and conclude that being acquired is best considered as a sign of success rather than as a business failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-991
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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