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Article

Are clusters resilient? Evidence from Canadian textile industries

Journal of Economic Geography. 2020. Vol. 20. No. 1. P. 1-36.
Behrens K., Boualam B., Martin J.

We investigate whether plants inside and outside geographic clusters differ in their resilience to adverse economic shocks. To this end, we develop a bottom-up procedure to delimit clusters using Canadian geo-coded plant-level data. Focusing on the textile and clothing (T&C) sector and exploiting the series of dramatic changes faced by that sector between 2001 and 2013, we find little evidence that plants in T&C clusters are more resilient than plants outside clusters. Over the whole period, plants inside clusters are neither less likely to die nor more likely to adapt by switching their main line of business. However, in the industries the most exposed to the surge of Chinese imports after 2005, plants inside clusters die and exit less than others in the following 2 years.