A new step in cluster policy evaluation in the Basque Country
Mari Jose Aranguren
Francisco José Olarte
Evaluation is considered nowadays one of the key issues in cluster literature (Sölvell, 2008). The article develops a new approach to the evaluation of the cluster policy in the Basque Country. This way it contributes to the literature on evaluation with a new experience of definition of control groups and to literature on clusters with two case studies based on the Basque experience. At the beginning of the nineties the Basque Government implemented a cluster policy based on the analysis by Porter (1990). There are nowadays eleven cluster associations supported by such policy and their evaluation has become a key issue to determine the extent to which this policy is being efficient and how it should evolve in the future. The article summarizes various evaluation processes developed up to now using different theoretical approaches. One of the main weaknesses detected is the absence of comparative studies of supported and non supported firms. Consequently, an empirical study is developed to overcome this gap. After a critical analysis of the conclusions, the authors propose participatory evaluation as the next step in order to improve the evaluation process.
Cluster Policy, Collective Decision Making, Regional Government, Basque Country
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