Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

July 20, 2018

# 18.30 The Principle of Relatedness

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , — T.Broekel @ 11:14 am

César A. Hidalgo & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Ron Boschma & Mercedes Delgado & Maryann Feldman & Koen Frenken & Edward Glaeser & Canfei He & Dieter F. Kogler & Andrea Morrison & Frank Neffke & David Rigby & Scott Stern & Siqi Zheng & Shengjun Zhu


Abstract: The idea that skills, technology, and knowledge, are spatially concentrated, has a long academic tradition. Yet, only recently this hypothesis has been empirically formalized and corroborated at multiple spatial scales, for different economic activities, and for a diversity of institutional regimes. The new synthesis is an empirical principle describing the probability that a region enters – or exits – an economic activity as a function of the number of related activities present in that location. In this paper we summarize some of the recent empirical evidence that has generalized the principle of relatedness to a fact describing the entry and exit of products, industries, occupations, and technologies, at the national, regional, and metropolitan scales. We conclude by describing some of the policy implications and future avenues of research implied by this robust empirical principle


# 18.29 Complex Economic Activities Concentrate in Large Cities

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , — T.Broekel @ 11:12 am

Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Cristian Jara-Figueroa & Sergio Petralia & Mathieu Steijn & David Rigby & César A. Hidalgo


Abstract: Why do some economic activities agglomerate more than others? And, why does the agglomeration of some economic activities continue to increase despite recent developments in communication and transportation technologies? In this paper, we present evidence that complex economic activities concentrate more in large cities. We find this to be true for technologies, scientific publications, industries, and occupations. Using historical patent data, we show that the urban concentration of complex economic activities has been continuously increasing since 1850. These findings suggest that the increasing urban concentration of jobs and innovation might be a consequence of the growing complexity of the economy.

# 18.28 The role of industry, occupation, and location specific knowledge in the survival of new firms

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , — T.Broekel @ 11:10 am

Cristian Jara-Figueroa & Bogang Jun & Edward Glaeser & Cesar Hidalgo


Abstract: How do regions acquire the knowledge they need to diversify their economic activities? How does the migration of workers among firms and industries contribute to the diffusion of that knowledge? Here we measure the industry, occupation, and location specific knowledge carried by workers from one establishment to the next using a dataset summarizing the individual work history for an entire country. We study pioneer firms–firms operating in an industry that was not present in a region–because the success of pioneers is the basic unit of regional economic diversification. We find that the growth and survival of pioneers increase significantly when their first hires are workers with experience in a related industry, and with work experience in the same location, but not with past experience in a related occupation. We compare these results with new firms that are not pioneers and find that industry specific knowledge is significantly more important for pioneer than non-pioneer firms. To address endogeneity we use Bartik instruments, which leverage national fluctuations in the demand for an activity as shocks for local labor supply. The instrumental variable estimates support the finding that industry related knowledge is a predictor of the survival and growth of pioneer firms. These findings expand our understanding of the micro-mechanisms underlying regional economic diversification events.

# 18.27 Innovating in less developed regions: what drives patenting in the lagging regions of Europe and North America

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , , , — T.Broekel @ 11:07 am

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Callum Wilkie


Abstract: Not all economically-disadvantaged – ‘less developed’ or ‘lagging’ – regions are the same. They are, however, often bundled together for the purposes of innovation policy design and implementation. This paper attempts to determine whether such bundling is warranted by conducting a regional level investigation for Canada, the United States, on the one hand, and Europe, on the other, to (a) identify the structural and socioeconomic factors that drive patenting in the less developed regions of North America and Europe, respectively; and (b) explore how these factors differ between the two contexts. The empirical analysis, estimated using a mixed- model approach, reveals that, while there are similarities between the drivers of innovation in North America’s and Europe’s lagging regions, a number of important differences between the two continents prevail. The analysis also indicates that the territorial processes of innovation in North America’s and Europe’s less developed regions are more similar to those of their more developed counterparts than to one another.

# 18.26 Strategies of gain and strategies of waste: What determines the success of development intervention?

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , — T.Broekel @ 11:04 am

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Callum Wilkie


Abstract: The development policy landscape has, in recent years, been dominated by four types of interventions: (1) infrastructure expansion and development; (2) the attraction of inward investment; (3) the promotion of innovation and development of human capital; (4) the cultivation of agglomeration and physical co-location. This paper engages with these four broad policy types with a view to, first, assess and comment on the utility of these approaches in different development contexts, and, second, provide an indication of what has worked and what has not worked in the design and implementation of these strategic actions. It relies on a review of a handful of ‘strategies of gain’ and ‘strategies of waste’ to ascertain insights into the steps that should be taken to maximise the likelihood that territorial development policies – irrespective of the development axis towards which they are oriented – fulfil their potential and contribute to the reduction of the territorial disparities in developed and developing contexts alike. The lessons drawn from this review are four-fold: i) development strategies composed of multiple related and mutually-reinforcing actions and interventions across development areas deliver better results; ii) strategic approaches to the promotion of economic growth that are solidly grounded in robust diagnoses are generally more successful; iii) the awareness of where exactly the territory is situated on the development spectrum is crucial; and iv) the institutional dimension cannot be left un-addressed in the design and implementation of policy interventions. These lessons are supplemented by a general framework relating to how territorial approaches to development should be designed for areas at different points in their development trajectories.

June 26, 2018

# 18.25 Rethinking Path Creation: A Geographical Political Economy Approach

Danny Mackinnon & Stuart Dawley & Andy Pike & Andrew Cumbers


Abstract: A burgeoning strand of Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG) research is addressing questions of regional path creation, based upon the idea that place-specific legacies and conditions play a critical role in supporting the emergence of new economic activities. Yet there has been little effort thus far to take stock of this emerging body of research. In response, the aims of this paper are to offer a fresh synthesis of recent work and to develop a broader theoretical framework to inform future research. First, it presents a critical appraisal of the state of the art in path creation research. In an effort to address identified gaps in EEG research, this incorporates insights from sociological perspectives, the global production networks (GPN) approach and transition studies. Second, the paper’s development of a systematic theoretical framework is based upon the identification of key dimensions of path creation and their constitutive inter-relations. This contribution is underpinned by a geographical political economy (GPE) approach which provides the ontological basis for the integration of the five key dimensions of path creation within an overarching framework and the positioning of regional processes in relation to the broader dynamics of uneven development. Informed by GPE, the argument is that knowledgeable actors, operating within multi-scalar institutional environments, create paths through the strategic coupling of regional and extra-regional assets to mechanisms of path creation and associated markets. To inform further research, the paper outlines four concrete propositions regarding the operation of path creation processes in different types of regions and explores these through case studies of Berlin and Pittsburgh.

# 18.24 Historical Roots of Entrepreneurial Culture and Innovation Activity―An Analysis for German Regions

Michael Fritsch & Martin Obschonka & Michael Wyrwich


Abstract: There is a research gap with respect to understanding the role of entrepreneurial culture and tradition for actual start-up behaviour. We combine historical self-employment data (entrepreneurial tradition) with a psycho- logical measure for entrepreneurial attitudes (entrepreneurial culture). The results reveal a positive relationship between the historical level of self- employment in a region and the presence of people with an entrepreneurial personality structure today. Our measure for a regional culture of entrepreneurship is positively related not only to the level of new business formation but also the amount of innovation activity.

May 31, 2018

# 18.23 Does related variety affect regional resilience? New evidence from Italy

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , — T.Broekel @ 3:45 pm

Giulio Cainelli & Roberto Ganau & Marco Modica


Abstract: Although several contributions have studied the effect of related variety on the economic performance of firms and regions, its influence on regional resilience – that is, regions’ capacity to adapt to external shocks – has received little attention. This paper contributes to this debate by analysing empirically the relationship between related variety and regional resilience at the Italian Local Labour Market (LLM) level. The analysis adopts the definition of regional resilience developed by Martin (2012), and employs spatial econometric techniques − besides standard non-spatial models − to analyse the role played by related variety as a short-run shock absorber with respect to the 2008 Great Recession. The results obtained from the estimation of Spatial Error Models suggest that LLMs characterised by a higher level of related variety have shown a higher capacity to adapt to an external shock, that is, the Great Recession. This evidence is confirmed with respect to two different short-run time horizons, the one-year period 2012-2013 and the three-year period 2010-2013.

#18.22 Industrial Relatedness and Regional Resilience in the European Union

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , — T.Broekel @ 3:42 pm

Giulio Cainelli & Roberto Ganau & Marco Modica


Abstract: The 2008 Great Recession prompted interest in the concept of regional resilience. This paper discusses and empirically investigates the relationship between industrial relatedness and economic resilience across European Union regions over the 2008-2012 crisis period. The analysis focuses on two types of industrial relatedness: technological and vertical (i.e. market-based). The empirical analysis is performed on a sample of 209 NUTS-2 regions in 16 countries. Our results highlight a positive effect of technological relatedness on the probability of resilience in the very short run (i.e. the 2008-2009 period), while the negative effect of vertical relatedness seems to persist for longer.

# 18.21 The high importance of de-industrialization and job polarization for regional diversification

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , — T.Broekel @ 3:08 pm

Jacob Rubæk Holm & Christian Richter Østergaard


Abstract: The process of regional diversification has received a growing interest in recent years with a focus on the role of relatedness between economic activities. The main argument is that regions diversify into economic activities closely related to their current activities. However, there are also processes working against this rather path dependent process, such as de-industrialization, job polarization, skill-biased technological change, and urbanization. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the importance of relatedness and these major processes in regional diversification with specific emphasis on the role of job polarization and de-industrialisation. The paper draws on linked employer-employee census data from Denmark 2008-2013. Results show that, while relatedness does matter for regional diversification, job polarization and deindustrialisation entail that the most related industries tend to contract. Hence, the results show that regional diversification is affected by relatedness, but its effect is overshadowed by job polarisation and de-industrialization. This effect is consistent across regions. The results show a role for policy and entrepreneurship in introducing unrelated diversification.


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