Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

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.


January 8, 2018

# 18.04 Social capital, resilience and regional diversification in Italy

Roberto Antonietti and Ron Boschma


There is increasing interest in the question how institutions affect regional diversification, especially in times of economic crisis. This paper investigates the role of social capital for the entry of new industries and the exits of existing industries in Italian provinces during the 2004-2010 period. Our results show that bridging social capital in a region positively contributes to the entry of new industries, especially when they are unrelated to existing specializations in the region. Diversification in regions (especially more unrelated diversification) tends to rely on bridging, not on bonding social capital. We also find that bridging social capital loses its impact on regional diversification during the crisis. Bonding, not bridging social capital, appears to make regions resilient in times of crisis, by reducing the probability of exit, especially in industries unrelated to existing specializations in regions. While bridging social capital has a negative effect on exit in times of prosperity, it shows no such effect anymore during the crisis period. Our findings suggest that bridging social capital loses its supportive role in times of crisis.

July 19, 2017

# 17.19 Industrial Clusters, Organized Crime and Productivity Growth in Italian SMEs

Filed under: 2017 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 2:30 pm

Roberto Ganau, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose


We examine whether organized crime affects firms’ performance (defined using Total Factor Productivity growth) both directly and indirectly, by downsizing the positive externalities arising from the geographic concentration of (intra- and inter-industry) market-related firms. The analysis uses a large sample of Italian small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms over the period 2010-2013. The results highlight the negative direct effects of organized crime on firms’ productivity growth. Any positive effect derived from industrial clustering is thoroughly debilitated by a strong presence of organized crime, and the negative moderation effect of organized crime on productivity growth is greater for smaller than for larger firms.

March 24, 2013

# 13.03 The properties of local knowledge bases and entrepreneurship: Evidence from Italian NUTS 3 regions

Alessandra Colombelli and Francesco Quatraro


This paper investigates the relationship between the creation of new firms and the properties of the local knowledge bases, like coherence, cognitive distance and variety. By combining the literature on the knowledge spillovers of entrepreneurship and that on the recombinant knowledge approach, we posit that locally available knowledge matters to the entrepreneurial process, but the type of knowledge underlying theses dynamics deserve to be analyzed. The analysis is carried out on 104 Italian NUTS 3 regions observed over the time span 1995-2011. The results confirm that local knowledge is important, and suggest that the creation of new firms in Italy is associated to the exploitation of well established technological trajectories grounded on competences accumulated over time, rather than to the commercialization of brand new knowledge.

February 12, 2012

# 12.03 Regional variety and employment growth in Italian labour market areas: services versus manufacturing industries

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:00 pm

Francesca Mameli, Simona Iammarino, Ron Boschma


This paper investigates the impact of regional sectoral diversity on regional employment growth in Italy over the period 1991-2001. Assuming that externalities may be stronger between industries selling similar products or sharing the same skills and technology (i.e. related industries), we analyze the role of different forms of sectoral variety at the Local Labour System (LLS) level. Our results show strong evidence of a general beneficial effect of a diversified sectoral structure but suggest also the need to differentiate the analysis between manufacturing and services. In particular, overall local employment growth seems to be favoured by the presence of a higher variety of related service industries, while no role is played by related variety in manufacturing. When looking at diversity externalities between macro-aggregates, the service industry is affected by related variety in manufacturing, while no evidence of externalities is found from tertiary sectors to manufacturing.

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