Theoretical, Empirical and Political Perspectives on the Initial Stage of Cluster Evolution
Industrial Dynamics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation series
Edited by Dirk Fornahl, Sebastian Henn and Max-Peter Menzel
Chapter 5: Origins of Human Capital in Clusters: Regional, Industrial and Academic Transitions in Media Clusters in Germany
Anne Otto and Dirk Fornahl INTRODUCTION 1 A successful cluster relies on a strong local human capital base and on a high level of inter-firm job mobility as a mean for knowledge transfer. However, the large body of cluster studies gives little evidence on the development of such local labour market pools. Thus, the question is how this central element of clusters emerges. While in the cluster emergence stage, the demand for human capital is relatively modest, in the growth stage firms in the cluster rely strongly on an extensive human capital base. Besides this quantitative aspect, the competencies demanded in the two stages probably also differ with a demand for quite specialised ones in the emergence stage and a much wider range in the growth stage. There exist different mechanisms of creating or accumulating human capital inside a cluster. Based on the peculiar demand for human capital just described the relevance of these mechanisms probably varies across the cluster life cycle. This is to say, human capital can be created within the cluster region either by educating and training pupils and students or by job changes from non-cluster firms to cluster firms (intra-regional mobility). In addition, the inflows of extra-regional labour are a major source of human capital, particularly in the stage of cluster emergence whereas local human capital production seems to be more important in the growth stage. Accordingly, a change of the pattern of labour mobility between these stages is assumed. In addition, in the growth stage...
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