When does defection pay? The stability of institutional arrangements in clusters

Authors: Kerstin Press

Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination (2007)

Abstract

The present paper investigates cluster adjustment to changing economic environments by focussing on the role and stability of institutional arrangements in their local culture. It postulates two idealtypical local cultures where firms act in the common (collective) or in their own interest (egoistic). By comparing adjustment performance and stability for both types, the model finds that clusters in very volatile environments are unlikely to exhibit collective local cultures as these are unstable and provide only limited benefits for adjustment performance. Clusters facing more stable environments are more likely to show collective local cultures as these increase adjustment performance and are more stable against individual defection. Both findings suggest that collective local cultures in clusters can be relatively stable for limited environment volatility.