Geographic clustering of industries is typically attributed to localized, pecuniary or non-pecuniary externalities. Recent studies across innovative industries suggest that explosive cluster growth is associated with the entry and success of spinoff firms. We develop a model to explain the patterns regarding cluster growth and spinoff formation and performance, without relying on agglomeration externalities. Clustering naturally follows from spinoffs locating near their parents. In our model, firms grow and spinoffs form through the discovery of new submarkets based on innovation. Rapid and successful innovation creates more opportunities for spinoff entry and drives a region’s growth.
May 15, 2013
May 5, 2013
# 13.08 Path dependence, place dependence, and the evolution of a patchwork economy: Evidence from Western Australia, 1981-2008
Paul Plummer, Matthew Tonts
This paper contributes to debates about that application and relevance of evolutionary concepts in the analysis of regional economies. In particular, we address the propostion that geography and history matter in shaping regional economic development by drawing on the concepts and methodology of dynamic econometrics, offering an analysis of Western Australia, 1981-2008. More specifically we test for path and place dependence using data on incomes per capita for regions within the State. The results provide evidence of both path and place dependence, although indicate that there is a degree of heterogeneity in how places are evolving and responding to shocks.
May 1, 2013
April 19, 2013
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Viola von Berlepsch
Have Irish, German or Italian settlers arriving in the US at the turn of the 20th century left an institutional trace which determines economic development differences to this day? Does the national origin of migrants matter for long-term development? This paper explores whether the distinct geographical settlement patterns of European migrants according to national origin affected economic development across US counties. It uses micro-data from the 1880 and 1910 censuses in order to identify where migrants from different nationalities settled and then regresses these patterns on current levels of economic development, using both OLS and instrumental variable approaches. The analysis controls for a number of factors which would have determined both the attractiveness of different US counties at the time of migration, as well as current levels of development. The results indicate that while there is a strong and positive impact associated with overall migration, the national origin of migrants does not make a difference for the current levels of economic development of US counties.
March 24, 2013
# 13.03 The properties of local knowledge bases and entrepreneurship: Evidence from Italian NUTS 3 regions
Alessandra Colombelli and Francesco Quatraro
This paper investigates the relationship between the creation of new firms and the properties of the local knowledge bases, like coherence, cognitive distance and variety. By combining the literature on the knowledge spillovers of entrepreneurship and that on the recombinant knowledge approach, we posit that locally available knowledge matters to the entrepreneurial process, but the type of knowledge underlying theses dynamics deserve to be analyzed. The analysis is carried out on 104 Italian NUTS 3 regions observed over the time span 1995-2011. The results confirm that local knowledge is important, and suggest that the creation of new firms in Italy is associated to the exploitation of well established technological trajectories grounded on competences accumulated over time, rather than to the commercialization of brand new knowledge.
March 18, 2013
# 13.02 Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Technological Breakthroughs: An analysis of U.S. state-level patenting
We investigate how variety affects the innovation output of a region. Borrowing arguments from theories of recombinant innovation, we expect that related variety will enhance innovation as related technologies are more easily recombined into a new technology. However, we also expect that unrelated variety enhances technological breakthroughs, since radical innovation often stems from connecting previously unrelated technologies opening up whole new functionalities and applications. Using patent data for US states in the period 1977-1999 and associated citation data, we find evidence for both hypotheses. Our study thus sheds a new and critical light on the related-variety hypothesis in economic geography.
February 5, 2013
Matthias Brachert, Alexander Kubis and Mirko Titze
The paper presents estimates for the impact of related variety, unrelated variety and the functions a region performs in the production process on regional employment growth in Germany. We argue that regions benefit from the existence of related activities that facilitate economic development. Thereby the sole reliance of the related and unrelated variety concept on standard industrial classifications (SIC) remains debatable. We offer estimations for establishing that conceptual progress can be made when the focus of analysis goes beyond solely considering industries. We develop an industry-function based approach of related and unrelated variety and test our hypothesis by the help of spatial panel approach. Our findings suggest that related variety as same as unrelated variety facilitate regional employment growth in Germany. However, the drivers behind these effects do differ. While the positive effect of related variety is driven by high degrees of relatedness in the regional “R&D” and “White-Collar”-functions, the effects of unrelated variety are spurred by “Blue Collar”-functions in this period.
December 4, 2012
Wouter Jacobs, Hans R.A. Koster and Frank van Oort
It has been argued that the relationship between knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) and multi-national enterprises (MNEs) within the regional economy is advantageous for urban and regional dynamics. It is likely that KIBS aim to locate proximate to (internationally operating) MNEs because of agglomeration externalities. The impact of MNEs on the birth of KIBS has rarely been examined, and the research on the new formation of KIBS has mainly adopted a case study approach, thus limiting the opportunity for generalisation. We have taken a more quantitative approach using a continuous space framework to test whether proximity is important for the co-location of KIBS and MNEs in the metropolitan area of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Our results, controlled for other location factors, indicate that KIBS are co-agglomerated with MNEs and that the presence of a MNE significantly influences the birth of KIBS nearby, but the effect on such start-ups is considerably smaller than the positive effect of the presence of already established KIBS. We discuss the implications for urban and regional development strategies and policy initiatives.