Cluster policy is designed to facilitate inter-firm networking. We examine industrial clusters in Japan based on firm-level transaction data. Cluster firms significantly expand transaction networks not only with local firms but also with firms in the agglomerated core Tokyo. We confirm the robustness of the results with historical policy experience of the regions as an instrumental variable and the cluster participation in a later period for a placebo test. By disaggregating firms in their relationships with financial institutions, we find that cluster firms expanding networks with firms in Tokyo are financed mainly by regional banks.
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