Chapter 15: Urban competitiveness and industrial clusters in Mexico
Urban competitiveness is an important issue for analyzing the local economic performance of a city, the impacts on its productive structure, its employment generation, and the links with an improved quality of life for its residents. One element in explaining urban competitiveness is the specialized productive structure, based upon the creation and consolidation of clusters. An industrial cluster consists of a large number of firms in spatial proximity, with the firms having close interaction with regard to the production processes they utilize, the productive techniques used, and the inputs they share. In this chapter I will analyze the role of industrial clusters in the economic growth and competitiveness of the largest cities in Mexico during the period 2003ñ2008. This chapter uses the identification of clusters in the Mexican economy made by the Center for Socioeconomic Research (CISE) at the Autonomous University of Coahuila, Mexico, and presents a statistical methodology to conduct a competitiveness index for the 90 largest Mexican cities ñ those with a population of 100,000 or more. The analysis confirms the importance of these clusters in Mexican economic activity. They have been the main sources of national exports, and they have promoted economic performance in many cities, especially in those with multiple clusters in their productive structure.
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