Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

January 21, 2019

# 19.05 The network effects of NGOs on social capital and innovation of smallholder farmers. A case study in Peru

Filed under: 2019 — Tags: , , , , , — T.Broekel @ 8:05 am

D. Hartmann and A. Arata and M. Bezerra and F.L. Pinheiro

 

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Abstract: The impact of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on the local development of rural areas has rarely been explored empirically. Here we employ methods from network science to evaluate the impact of an NGO’s activities on the social capital and innovation of three Peruvian farming communities between 2003 and 2018. Data was collected from in-depth interviews with farmers, including information about the farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics, types of interactions with the NGO, and innovations in processes, products, marketing, and organization. Our findings show that the NGO had a significant impact on the local social cohesion and innovation performance of the farmers. The NGO helped to connect farmers from different villages, provided access to external knowledge, and facilitated the establishment of a local productive organization. Yet, the NGO also changed the local power structure by becoming the most central agent in the local innovation system. The NGO’s centrality declined, though, at later stages of the development project as local agents took over the role of the NGO. Moreover, econometric results show that having a link with the NGO is associated with a significantly more central role of the farmers in the local network. However, only close cooperation with the NGO, such as membership in the local productive organization or active participation in technical training workshops was associated with a significantly higher innovation performance. Finally, our study demonstrates that methods from network science can help to empirically evaluate and monitor the effects of NGOs on local development at different stages of their development interventions.

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October 10, 2018

# 18.36 Related variety, unrelated variety and the novelty content of firm innovation in urban and non-urban locations

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , , — T.Broekel @ 4:36 pm

Marte C.W. Solheim and Ron Boschma and Sverre Herstad

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Abstract: In this paper, we investigate whether the composition of experience-based knowledge accumulated by firms in urban and rural locations is reflected in the novelty content of their innovations. Looking at the manufacturing industry, and using Norwegian Linked Employer- Employee register data (LEED) merged with Community Innovation Survey (CIS) data, we find that unrelated experience variety within firms increases the probability of radical innovation, independently of firms’ location, whereas related variety increases the probability of incremental innovation in large-city regions. These results demonstrate that innovation capacity cannot be understood from the single perspective of R&D efforts and strategy as it also depends on experiences accumulated in ‘entire organizations’ and the locations in which accumulation occurs. Moreover, they suggest that for manufacturing firms, urban locations are not hot spot for radical change. Instead, they support incremental innovative activities by facilitating effective sharing of knowledge between related sectors.

# 18.35 Migration and invention in the age of mass migration

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , , — T.Broekel @ 4:34 pm

Andrea Morrison and Sergio Petralia and Dario Diodato

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Abstract: More than 30 million people migrated to the US between the 1850s and 1920s. In the order of thousands became inventors and patentees. Drawing on an original dataset of immigrant inventors to the US, we assess the city-level impact of immigrants patenting and their potential crowding out effects on US native inventors. Our study contributes to the different strands of literature in economics, innovation studies and economic geography on the role of immigrants as carriers of knowledge. Our results show that immigrants’ patenting is positively associated with total patenting. We find also that immigrant inventors crowd-in US inventors. The growth in US inventors’ productivity can be explained also in terms of knowledge spill-overs generate by immigrants. Our findings are robust to several checks and to the implementation of an instrumental variable strategy.

July 20, 2018

# 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

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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.

June 26, 2018

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

Michael Fritsch & Martin Obschonka & Michael Wyrwich

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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.

April 23, 2018

# 18.19 Relatedness and growth: The impact of creative industries to the wider economy

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , — T.Broekel @ 7:17 am

Niccolò Innocenti & Luciana Lazzeretti

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Abstract: The role of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in fostering both innovation and growth in the wider economy has been much debated, beginning with Bakhshi et al.’s (2008) seminal contribution. Such studies of creative environments tend to assign a strategic role to territories, but they provide little empirical evidence. In this paper, the issues of the creative economy are combined with evolutionary economic geography (EEG) topics in an attempt to understand whether the CCIs are able to foster innovation and growth in the wider economy. Using an indicator of the relatedness density between the creative and other sectors for the Italian provinces, we analyse employment growth and innovation over a period of ten years (2006–2015) by drawing from the AMADEUS database. A panel data analysis is then applied to investigate the role of relatedness and the clustering of the creative industries in wider economic growth, which shows that, at a local level, the creative industries require the presence of other sectors with a high degree of cognitive proximity/relatedness, while the capacity for development and innovation does not merely depend on their presence, but also on their relations and interdependencies with other economic sectors.

February 7, 2018

#18.08 Creative and science-oriented employees and firm-level innovation

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , , — T.Broekel @ 8:23 pm

Stephan Brunow & Antonia Birkeneder & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

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This paper examines the link between innovation and the endowments of creative and science-oriented STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – workers at the level of the firm and at the city-/regional-level in Germany. It also looks into whether the presence of these two groups of workers has greater benefits for larger cities than smaller locations, thus justifying policies to attract these workers in order to make German cities ‘smarter’. The empirical analysis is based on a probit estimation, covering 115,000 firm-level observations between 1998 and 2015. The results highlight that firms that employ creative and STEM workers are more innovative than those that do not. However, the positive connection of creative workers to innovation is limited to the boundaries of the firm, whereas that of STEM workers is as associated to the generation of considerable innovation spillovers. Hence, attracting STEM workers is more likely to end up making German cities smarter than focusing exclusively on creative workers.

June 16, 2017

# 17.13 Technological Coherence and the Adaptive Resilience of Regional Economies

Filed under: 2017 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:42 pm

Silvia Rocchetta, Andrea Mina

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This paper explores the effect of different regional technological profiles on the resilience of regional economies to exogenous shocks. We conduct an empirical examination of the determinants of resilience through panel analyses of UK NUTS III level data for the 2004-2012 period. The results indicate that regions endowed with technologically coherent – and not simply diversified – knowledge bases are better prepared to face an unforeseen downturn and display resilience. Moreover, local economies tend to be more adaptable if they innovate in sectors with the strongest growth opportunities, even though firms’ net entry does not appear to contribute significantly towards resilience.

May 2, 2016

# 16.09 Not too close, not too far: testing the Goldilocks principle of ‘optimal’ distance in innovation networks

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , , — mattehartog @ 3:27 pm

Rune Dahl Fitjar, Franz Huber and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

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This paper analyses how the formation of collaboration networks affects firm-level innovation by applying the ‘Goldilocks principle’. The ‘Goldilocks principle’ of optimal distance in innovation networks postulates that the best firm-level innovation results are achieved when the partners involved in the network are located at the ‘right’ distance, i.e. ‘not too close and not too far’ from one another, across non-geographical proximity dimensions. This principle is tested on a survey of 542 Norwegian firms conducted in 2013, containing information about firm-level innovation activities and key innovation partners. The results of the ordinal logit regression analysis substantiate the Goldilocks principle, as the most innovative firms are found amongst those that collaborate with partners at medium levels of proximity for all non-geographical dimensions. The analysis also underscores the importance of the presence of a substitution-innovation mechanism, with geographical distance problems being compensated by proximity in other dimensions as a driver of innovation, whilst there is no support for a potential overlap-innovation mechanism.

February 3, 2016

# 16.02 Nothing is in the air

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:37 pm

Rune Dahl Fitjar and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

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It has often been argued that ‘there is something in the air’ which makes firms in high-density environments – such as cities or clusters – more innovative. The co-location of firms facilitates the emergence of serendipity and casual encounters which promote innovation in firms. We assess this hypothesis using data from a survey of Norwegian firms engaged in innovation partnerships. The results indicate that there may be ‘much less in the air’ than is generally assumed in the literature. The relationships conducive to innovation by Norwegian firms emerged as a consequence of purpose-built searches and had little to do with chance, serendipity, or ‘being there’.

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