Urban Competitiveness and Innovation

Urban Competitiveness and Innovation

Edited by Pengfei Ni and Zheng Qiongjie

Against the backdrop of today’s climate of economic globalization and the rapid development of information, this timely book explores the complex concept of competitiveness between cities. The expert contributors illustrate that innovation is a prerequisite for increasing urban competitiveness, and highlight the various ways that urban innovation-based competitiveness can be approached.

Chapter 15: Urban competitiveness and industrial clusters in Mexico

Jaime Sobrino

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, public sector economics, urban economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, urban economics


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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