Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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’.

July 15, 2015

# 15.23 Institutions and the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process for Smart Specialization

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and Callum Wilkie


Smart specialization approaches to regional innovation policies have attracted, and in all likelihood will continue to attract, considerable attention. With this attention has come significant interest in one of the approach’s defining features: the ‘entrepreneurial discovery process’ (EDP). While this interest has yielded substantial progress in the development of a comprehensive collective understanding of the EDP, several important, even vital, aspects of the EDP remain ‘under-‘ or even ‘unaddressed’. This essay aims to fill what we consider to be two prominent gaps in the aforementioned collective understanding by, first, identifying the actors who are responsible for the EDP, investigating their respective roles, and exploring how they should be engaged, and, second, by dissecting the relationship between the EDP and the institutional context within which it occurs recognizing that institutions can exercise tremendous influence on the effectiveness and outcomes of the EDP. Four prominent conclusions emerge from this exercise – each of which is made explicit in the final section of the paper – that will hopefully contribute to the more effective implementation and execution of the EDP across diverse socioeconomic and institutional contexts.

June 9, 2015

# 15.19 Cross-specialization: A New Perspective on Industry Policy

Filed under: 2015 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 9:56 am

Matthijs J. Janssen


In this paper we discuss how an economies’ established stronghold industries can form a basis for sustaining competiveness. As changing market circumstances demand strongholds to stay adaptive, their knowledge bases need to be enriched with knowledge that is uncommon to the industry itself. Inspired by insights from evolutionary economic geography, we argue why rather than (only) supporting related variety, policy makers should ‘cross-specialize’ by creating linkages between strong but unrelated industries. Experimentation based on bridging rich knowledge bases provides important opportunities for breakthrough innovation and, ultimately, economic diversification. Policy makers can facilitate uncommon interactions by creating various kinds of platform-like interfaces. One way to determine what technologies and themes are suitable in this regard is by taking a close look at cross-over industries. As these cross-over industries consist of parties able to communicate with both of the unrelated strongholds, they are highly relevant for policy interventions aimed at closing structural holes in the industry space. Looking at the case of the Dutch Topsectors, we describe how cross-over industries can be identified. We use skill-relatedness and employment data to construct the Dutch industry space, and apply network analytics for calculating cross-over centrality measures. We conclude by discussing research and policy implications.

April 16, 2015

# 15.09 Innovation in Russia: the territorial dimension

Filed under: 2015 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 5:03 pm

Riccardo Crescenzi and Alexander Jaax


The debate on Russia’s innovation performance has paid little attention to the role of geography. This paper addresses this gap by applying an ‘augmented’ regional knowledge function approach to examine the territorial dynamics of innovation in Russia. The empirical results suggest that regional R&D investments are strong predictors of local innovative performance. However, R&D activities are inadequately connected to regional human capital resources. The activities of foreign firms play a fundamental role as ‘global knowledge pipelines’. Different territorial dynamics of innovation are observed in the European and the Asian part of Russia, with regions to the East of the Urals less likely to benefit from interregional knowledge spillovers. The historical legacy from the Soviet era still emerges as a strong predictor of current innovative performance, shedding light on the importance of long-term path dependency in the Russian geography of innovation.

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