Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

December 28, 2011

# 11.20 A relational approach to knowledge spillovers in biotech. Network structures as drivers of inter-organizational citation patterns

Filed under: 2011 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 2:41 pm

Ron Boschma and Pierre-Alexandre Balland and Dieter Kogler


In this paper, we analyze the geography of knowledge spillovers in biotech by investigating the way in which knowledge ties are organized. Following a relational account on knowledge spillovers, we depict knowledge networks as complex evolving structures that build on pre-existing knowledge and previously formed ties. In economic geography, there is still little understanding of how structural network forces (like preferential attachment and closure) shape the structure and formation of knowledge spillover networks in space. Our study investigates the knowledge spillover networks of biotech firms by means of inter-organizational citation patterns based on USPTO biotech patents in the years 2008-2010. Using a Stochastic Actor-Oriented Model (SAOM), we explain the driving forces behind the decision of actors to cite patents produced by other actors. Doing so, we address directly the endogenous forces of knowledge dynamics.

November 16, 2011

# 11.19 Evolving into a Regional Innovation System: How Governance impact on Innovation in Shenzhen and Dongguan, China?

Filed under: 2011 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 12:08 pm

Wenying Fu and Javier Revilla Diez and Daniel Schiller


Governance constitutes elementary supportive infrastructure for regional innovation systems. This paper extends the evolutionary lens of governance into initial industrialization phase and examines the impact of their evolution into regional innovation systems on fostering innovation activities. Drawing on the empirical substances in Shenzhen and Dongguan, China, a path-dependent nature of institutional design on supporting innovation has been discovered. The paper shows that the dirigiste globalized production system in Shenzhen in 1980s has gradually evolved to a higher level of interactive regional innovation system than the grassroots globalized production system in Dongguan, where innovation is still passively managed by global players. Finally, policy implication is discussed for the construction of regional innovation systems under different governance modalities in the initial industrialization phase.

November 6, 2011

# 11.18 The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance

Tom Broekel and Ron Boschma


Firms’ embeddedness into knowledge networks has received much attention in the literature. However, little is known about the composition of firms’ ego-networks with respect to different types of proximities. Based on survey data of 295 firms in eight European regions, we show that the ego-networks of firms systematically differ in their geographical and cognitive embeddedness. We find that firms’ innovation performance is stimulated if the firm primarily links to technologically related firms as well as technologically similar organizations. Connecting with organizations at different geographical levels yields positive effects as well.

October 18, 2011

# 11.17 Cluster Evolution and a Roadmap for Future Research

Filed under: 2011 — mattehartog @ 4:23 pm

Ron Boschma and Dirk Fornahl


There is increasing recognition that the existence of clusters can only be understood when studying their dynamics over time (Audretsch and Feldman 1996; Pouder and St. John 1996; Swann et al. 1998; Maggioni 2002; Brenner 2004; Iammarino and McCann 2006; Menzel and Fornahl 2010; Ter Wal and Boschma 2011). In fact, clusters may be best understood as products of a path-dependent process (Martin and Sunley 2006). In that context, scholars have described the main features of cluster development over time, and have explored the driving forces behind their evolution. In their seminal contribution, Menzel and Fornahl (2010) proposed a cluster life cycle model in which firms enter and exit the cluster, capabilities of cluster firms develop and interact (and might converge), and inter-organizational linkages within and beyond the cluster are established and dissolved along the cluster life cycle.

August 18, 2011

# 11.16 Forms of Emergence and the Evolution of Economic Landscapes

Filed under: 2011 — Tags: , , , , — T.Broekel @ 8:38 pm

Ron Martin and Peter Sunley


Over the past two decades, the notion of ‘emergence’ has attracted increasing attention and controversy across the social sciences, as par of a growing interest in the applicability of complexity theory to socio-economic-political systems. Within this context, as economic geographers, our concern in this paper is with the usefulness of the idea of emergence for studying the economic landscape and its evolution. We examine three ‘orders’ of emergence, and focus attention especially on the third type, ‘developmental or evolutionary’ emergence. Despite its limitations, the notion of third order emergence is a potentially valuable organizing concept in economic geography. It provides a framework for exploring how it is that the spatial forms of the economy – clusters, regions, firm networks and so on – are recursively related to economic action. 

August 10, 2011

# 11.15 Application possibilities of the micro-meso-macro framework in economic geography

Heike Schröder


The micro-meso-macro approach is an analytical framework to study processes of economic evolution. In economic geography it has been hardly taken up so far. Using the example of spatial implications of corporate processes of adaption and renewal after structural interruptions, this paper shows at a conceptual level how the framework could be applied to topics in economic geography. Compared to other approaches, the micro-meso-macro framework has several advantages: It allows to analyse the coevolution between different forms of knowledge in an economic system and the context in which companies operate. By integrating mechanism rules, it also considers the ability of firms to adapt to a changing environment. Furthermore, it is possible to explain the interplay between enterprises and higher levels of analysis like industry sectors or regions through the analytical unit of the rule trajectory. In this paper it is argued not to assign any spatial dimension to the different levels of analysis per se, but to examine the mechanism rules along trajectories of operational rules under a spatial perspective.

August 7, 2011

# 11.14 The Dynamics of Interfirm Networks along the Industry Life Cycle: The Case of the Global Video Games Industry 1987-2007

Pierre-Alexandre Balland and Mathijs de Vaan and Ron Boschma


In this paper, we study the formation of network ties between firms along the life cycle of a creative industry. We focus on three drivers of network formation: i) network endogeneity which stresses a path-dependent change originating from previous network structures, ii) five forms of proximity (e.g. geographical proximity) which ascribe tie formation to the similarity of actors’ attributes; and (iii) individual characteristics which refer to the heterogeneity in actors capabilities to exploit external knowledge. The paper employs a stochastic actor-oriented model to estimate the – changing – effects of these drivers on inter-firm network formation in the global video game industry from 1987 to 2007. Our findings indicate that the effects of the drivers of network formation change with the degree of maturity of the industry. To an increasing extent, video game firms tend to partner over shorter distances and with more cognitively similar firms as the industry evolves.

July 8, 2011

# 11.13 The place of new industries: the case of fuel cell technology and its technological relatedness to regional knowledge bases

Anne Nygaard Tanner


The evolutionary turn in economic geography has proposed that regional diversification is a path-dependent process whereby new industries grow out of preexisting industrial structures through technologically related localized knowledge spillover. This paper examines if this also applies for industries developed around emerging radical technology. I develop a new measure for technological relatedness between the knowledge base of the region and that of a radical technology, namely, fuel cells. It is demonstrated that even in the case of a high degree of radicalness and discontinuity, knowledge generation is still cumulative in its spatial and cognitive dimensions, corroborating the evolutionary thesis.

July 7, 2011

# 11.12 Conceptualising Cluster Evolution: Beyond the Life-Cycle Model?

Filed under: 2011 — Tags: , , , , — T.Broekel @ 8:34 pm

Ron Martin and Peter Sunley


Although the literature on the evolution of industrial clusters is not vast, a preferred approach has already become evident, based around the idea of a cluster ‘life-cycle’. This approach has several limitations. In this paper we explore a different conception of cluster evolution drawing on the ‘adaptive cycle’ model that has been developed in evolutionary ecology. Using this model, cluster evolution is viewed as an adaptive process with different possible outcomes based on episodic interactions of nested systems. Though not without limitations, this approach offers greater scope as a framework for shaping the research agenda into the evolution of clusters.

June 23, 2011

# 11.11 Challenges of Transformation: Innovation, Re-bundling and Traditional Manufacturing in Canada’s Technology Triangle

Harald Bathelt and Andrew K. Munro and Ben Spigel


This paper develops a perspective of regional re-bundling in overcoming economic crises. It does this by focusing on the effects of the recent global financial crisis on traditional manufacturing. We analyze the structure of innovation processes and their development over time in Canada’s Technology Triangle – a region known for university-related spin-off processes and successful modernization. What is less well-known is that this region has been strongly influenced by traditional manufacturing industries. We show that these industries have been well prepared to deal with the effects of the crisis due to ongoing innovation and diversification stimulated by prior economic crises.

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