Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

December 29, 2013

# 13.27 Export diversification in the product space and regional growth: Evidence from Russia

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , — mattehartog @ 9:47 pm

Sergey Kadochnikov and Anna Fedyunina


This study investigates the relationship between export structure and economic growth in Russian regions. We hypothesize that it is not industry variety per se but the variety of related industries located relatively close to each other in the product space that significantly contributes to economic growth in Russian regions. The empirical analysis presented in the paper confirms that the density of the product space around the products for which a region had a comparative advantage determined the economic development in Russian regions in the 2003-2008 period. We conclude that the presence of a local related variety of industries in a region is one of the most important regional factors in economic development.

December 21, 2013

# 13.26 Which Types of Relatedness Matter in Regional Growth? Industry, occupation and education

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:05 pm

Sofia Wixe and Martin Andersson


This paper provides a conceptual discussion of relatedness, which suggests a focus on individuals as a complement to firms and industries. The empirical relevance of the main arguments are tested by estimating the effects of related and unrelated variety in education and occupation among employees, as well as in industries, on regional growth. We show that for regional productivity growth, occupational and educational related variety matter over and above industry relatedness. This supports the conceptual discussion put forward. The potential of productive interactions between employees in a region is thus greater when there is related variety in their ‘knowledge base’. We also find that related variety in industries is positive for employment growth but negative for productivity growth.

December 8, 2013

# 13.25 Modeling Knowledge Networks in Economic Geography: A Discussion of Four Empirical Strategies

Tom Broekel, Pierre-Alexandre Balland, Martijn Burger, Frank van Oort


The importance of network structures for the transmission of knowledge and the diffusion of technological change has been emphasized in economic geography. Since network structures drive the innovative and economic performance of actors in regional contexts, it is crucial to explain how networks form and evolve over time and how they facilitate inter-organizational learning and knowledge transfer. The analysis of relational dependent variables, however, requires specific statistical procedures. In this paper, we discuss four different models that have been used in economic geography to explain the spatial context of network structures and their dynamics. First, we review gravity models and their recent extensions and modifications to deal with the specific characteristics of networked relations. Second, we discuss the quadratic assignment procedure that has been developed in mathematical sociology for diminishing the bias induced by network dependencies. Third, we present exponential random graph models that not only allow dependence between observations, but also model such network dependencies explicitly. Finally, we deal with dynamic networks, by introducing stochastic actor oriented models. Strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches are discussed together with domains of applicability for the analysis of (knowledge) network structures and their dynamics.

December 1, 2013

# 13.24 Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:02 pm

Riccardo Crescenzi, Max Nathan and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose


This paper investigates how physical, organisational, institutional, cognitive, social, and ethnic proximities between inventors shape their collaboration decisions. Using a new panel of UK inventors and a novel identification strategy, this paper systematically explores the net effects of all these ‘proximities’ on co-patenting.  The regression analysis allows us to identify the full effects of each proximity, both on choice of collaborator and on the underlying decision to collaborate. The results show that physical proximity is an important influence on collaboration, but is mediated by organisational and ethnic factors. Over time, physical proximity increases in salience. For multiple inventors, geographic proximity is, however, much less important than organisational, social, and ethnic links. For inventors as a whole, proximities are fundamentally complementary, while for multiple inventors they are substitutes.

November 15, 2013

# 13.23 Network structural properties for cluster long run dynamics. Evidence from collaborative R&D networks in the European mobile phone industry

Filed under: 2013 — mattehartog @ 12:42 pm

Joan Crespo, Raphaël Suire and Jérôme Vicente


In a recent literature, the structural properties of knowledge networks have been pointed out as a critical factor for cluster structural changes and long run dynamics. Mixing evolutionary economic geography and network-based approach of clusters, this contribution aims at capturing and discussing the particular influence of hierarchy (degree distribution) and assortativity (degree correlation) in the innovative capabilities of clusters along the industry life cycle. We test our propositions in the field of the mobile phone industry in Europe from 1988 to 2008. We use EPO PATSTAT and OECD REGPAT to capture cluster trends, and R&D relations from European Framework Programs to capture knowledge networks and their evolving structural properties. Our findings provide new insights to understand the organization of clusters over time in order to perform along the industry life cycle.

November 1, 2013

# 13.22 Constructing Regional Advantage and Smart Specialization: Comparison of Two European Policy Concepts

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , — mattehartog @ 6:41 pm

Ron Boschma


This paper discusses two influential policy concepts at the European level that aim to promote economic diversification of regions, that is the Constructing Regional Advantage concept (CRA) and the Smart Specialization concept (SS). Both approaches are in favour of policy intervention but defy ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies as well as ‘stand-alone’ policies that create new activities in regions from scratch. Although ‘picking-the-winner’ policies are rejected, both policy frameworks identify and prioritise ‘promising’ targets for policy intervention, but they do so differently. The SS concept organizes this identification process through entrepreneurial discovery in which entrepreneurs select the domains of future specialization. The CRA concept focuses on identifying related variety and bottlenecks that prevent related industries in regions to connect and interact. Crucial in both frameworks is the strong involvement of local stakeholders. However, both approaches also agree that rent-seeking behavior, corruption and lock-in are potential threats to effective policy making. To avoid this, both are in favor of an open and inclusive approach and a policy implementation process that is closely monitored. The paper argues that the two policy concepts can provide useful inputs to develop a smart and comprehensive policy design that focuses on true economic renewal in regions and that avoids rent-seeking behaviour of vested players.

October 26, 2013

# 13.21 Towards DUI Regional Innovation Systems

Filed under: 2013 — mattehartog @ 12:13 pm

Phil Cooke


This paper marks a departure in seeking to develop the conceptual and practical apparatus of a regional innovation system (RIS) for science & technology-disadvantaged regions. It is empirically based and builds on insights about the limitations of STI (The Science-Technology-Innovation Approach, which is Linear, Specialist, Exclusive, Explicit/Codified, Global) and the strengths of DUI (The Doing-Using-Interacting Approach, which is Interactive, Diversified, Inclusive, Implicit, Regional/Local). DUI is highly compatible with Schumpeterian understanding that the core process of innovation is ‘knowledge recombination’. From an evolutionary economic geography perspective, which is taken in the paper, this raises interesting issues for the economics of knowledge. First it underlines the need to pay serious attention to questions of the ‘proximity’ imperative, suggesting not that knowledge is easily appropriable for (‘open’) innovation but that it may be excessively difficult to identify because it lies hidden in possibly neighbouring – but different – industries and firms. Thus, second, it makes the notion of ‘knowledge spillovers’ problematic because the spillovers may not be forthcoming at all or may come in unrecognisable forms. Hence, third, this means that firms likely need more than usual RIS intermediation (including knowledge demonstration and transfer services) to avoid market failures of innovation. Assistance with identification of ‘modular’ policy elements is only one of the services required for DUI product, process and policy innovation. The complexity theory notion of ‘transversality’ has been advanced to capture the ’emergence’ of novelty out of contexts of difference, unifying a solution to the three conceptual problem-issues raised in the paper.

# 13.20 On the Notion of Regional Economic Resilience: Conceptualisation and Explanation

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 12:10 pm

Ron Martin and Peter Sunley


Over the past few years a new buzzword has entered academic, political and public discourse: the notion of resilience, a term invoked to describe how an entity or system responds to shocks and disturbances.   Although the concept has been used for some time in ecology and psychology, it is now invoked in diverse contexts, both as a perceived (and typically positive) attribute of an object, entity or system and, more normatively, as a desired feature that should somehow be promoted or fostered.  As part of this development, the notion of resilience is rapidly becoming part of the conceptual and analytical lexicon of regional and local economic studies: there is increasing interest in the resilience of regional, local and urban economies.  Further, resilience is rapidly emerging as an idea ‘whose time has come’ in policy debates: a new imperative of ‘constructing’ or ‘building’ regional and urban economic resilience is gaining currency.  However, this rush to use the idea of regional and local economic resilience in policy circles has arguably run somewhat ahead of our understanding of the concept.  There is still considerable ambiguity about what, precisely, is meant by the notion of regional economic resilience, about how it should be conceptualized and measured, what its determinants are, and how it links to patterns of long-run regional growth. The aim of this paper is to address these and related questions on the meaning and explanation of regional economic resilience and thereby to outline the directions of a research agenda.

October 14, 2013

# 13.19 Who acquires whom? The role of geographical proximity and industrial relatedness in Dutch domestic M&As between 2002 and 2008

Nils Ellwanger and Ron Boschma


In economic geography, geographical proximity has been identified as a key driver of M&A activity. In this context, little attention has yet been drawn to the effect of industrial relatedness, which refers to the similarity and complementarity of business activities. We examine 1,855 domestic M&A deals announced between 2002 and 2008 in the Netherlands, and we assess the extent to which geographical proximity and industrial relatedness affect M&A partnering. Our study shows that geographical proximity drives domestic M&A deals, even at very detailed spatial scales like the municipality level. We also found evidence that companies that share the same or complementary industries are more likely to engage in an M&A deal. Logistic regressions show that the effect of industrial relatedness is stronger than the effect of geographical proximity.

# 13.18 Labour market externalities and regional growth in Sweden: The importance of labour mobility between skill-related industries

Boschma, R., R.H. Eriksson and U. Lindgren


This study investigates the relationship between labour market externalities and regional growth based on real labour flows. In particular, we test for the importance of labour mobility across so-called skill-related industries. We make use of a sophisticated indicator that measures the degree of skill-relatedness between all industries, and we employ actual labour flows between 435 4-digit industries within 72 Swedish functional labour market regions to estimate how labour market externalities are related to regional growth in the period 1998-2002. Both our fixed effect models and GMM-estimates demonstrate that a strong intensity of intra-regional labour flows between skill-related industries impacts positively on regional productivity growth, but less so on regional employment growth. Labour mobility between unrelated industries tends to dampen regional unemployment growth while a high degree of intra-industry labour flows is only found to be associated with rising regional unemployment.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: