By Dominique Foray
What is the place of the luxury industry in the knowledge economy, and what is its contribution to the European growth strategy based on innovation and knowledge (Europe 2020)? A major problem faced by most European countries lies in their inability to create favorable conditions for the emergence of innovation systems, based on the constituent components of the ecologies of knowledge (private and public research organizations, creative craft and art jobs, design and style offices working toward the creation of new technological, organizational, and artistic knowledge). For various reasons (form of competition, goods market positioning, economic governance, management of skills), the luxury sector creates a special pool of relationships that promotes the combination of multiple knowledge capabilities to innovate. It develops a favorable economic context within which different elements of the knowledge ecologies meet to implement many innovative projects. The paper concludes that the European 2020 strategy will not be possible without the contribution of the few sectors that excel at identifying and enhancing certain elements of knowledge ecologies in order to mobilize within innovation systems. It is therefore important to identify these sectors and to place them at the heart of industry and innovation policy. Undoubtedly, the luxury sector belongs to this category.
JEL Codes: O30; O38; O52