In this paper, we study the relation between parenting events and the performance of firms. Using data from the Italian motorcycle industry (1893–1993), we find that parents have higher survival chances after generating a spinoff (i.e. parenting event), confirming results from previous studies about other manufacturing industries. We also show that the survival patterns of parent firms differ across space, and we link them to cluster characteristics: parenting events are associated to survival advantages in the clusters of Milan and the Motorvalley, and to survival disadvantages in the cluster of Turin. The paper contributes to the literature on spinoffs and employee mobility and adds to the debate on the role of clusters and their institutions in evolutionary economic geography, by highlighting the importance of contextual factors for the performance of parent firms.
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