Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

January 8, 2012

# 12.01 The emergence of new industries at the regional level in Spain A proximity approach based on product-relatedness

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , , — mattehartog @ 3:13 pm

Ron Boschma and Asier Minondo and Mikel Navarro

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How do regions diversify over time? Inspired by recent studies, we argue that regions diversify into industries that make use of capabilities in which regions are specialized. As the spread of capabilities occurs through mechanisms that have a strong regional bias, we expect that capabilities available at the regional level play a larger role than capabilities available at the country level for the development of new industries. To test this, we analyze the emergence of new industries in 50 Spanish regions at the NUTS 3 level in the period 1988-2008. We calculate the capability-distance between new export products and existing export products in Spanish regions, and provide econometric evidence that regions tend to diversify into new industries that use similar capabilities as existing industries in these regions. We show that proximity to the regional industrial structure plays a much larger role in the emergence of new industries in regions than proximity to the national industrial structure. This suggests that capabilities at the regional level enable the development of new industries.

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