Keywords: clustering, high technology, innovation, electronics industry, polycentric metropolis, Los Angeles region, industrial location
High technology clustering in the polycentric metropolis: a view from the Los Angeles metropolitan region
This article examines the most significant assumptions on clustering and its impacts for high tech innovation and performance, with evidence from the Los Angeles metropolitan region. Geographical clusters in three advanced electronics industry groups (advanced computers, telecommunications and electromedical equipment manufacturing) are identified and related to the larger metropolitan context. Assumptions on the importance of clustering for R&D, inter-firm cooperation, productivity, small firm incubation, production costs, local embeddedness and industrial district effects are considered. Data from establishment surveys of clustered and non-clustered plants are then examined, to determine whether the assumptions diffused through much of the literature on high tech development correspond with the evidence found for the Los Angeles metropolitan region. The evidence provided in this article points to the need to consider the larger metropolitan context in order to understand the relationship between high tech clustering and the internal performance of manufacturing establishments.