Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

June 1, 2017

# 17.11 Critical links in knowledge networks – What about proximities and gatekeeper organizations?

Filed under: 2017 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 5:08 pm

Tom Broekel and Wladimir Mueller


The paper analyzes links in knowledge networks that are essential for the integration and knowledge diffusion properties of the entire network. By focusing on critical links, as defined in network science, we evaluate these links’ properties from the perspective of the proximity and regional gatekeeper literature. We thereby gain insights into likely conditions of their emergence and functions. Moreover, we extend the dyadic perspective on regional gatekeeper organizations and link it more strongly to the network science and proximity framework literature. An empirical study applies these arguments and investigates the proximity characteristics of critical links in 132 technology-specific subsidized knowledge networks in Germany. The results show that critical links tend be formed between regional gatekeepers that offer related knowledge resources. The links bridge institutional distances by utilizing the benefits of geographic and social proximity.

May 27, 2016

# 16.13 Tie creation versus tie persistence in cluster knowledge networks

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 12:37 pm

Sándor Juhász, Balázs Lengyel


Knowledge networks in industrial clusters are frequently analyzed but we know very little about creation and persistence of ties in these networks. We argue that tie creation primarily depends on opportunities and thus the position ofactors in the network and in space; while tie persistence is influenced by the value of the tie. Accordingly, results from a Hungarian printing and paper product cluster suggest that reciprocity, triadic closure, and geographical proximity between firms increase the probability of tie creation. Tie persistence is positively affected by technological proximity between firms and the number of their extra-regional ties.

April 24, 2014

# 14.12 The Dynamics of Technical and Business Networks in Industrial Clusters: Embeddedness, status or proximity?

Filed under: 2014 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 8:36 am

Pierre-Alexandre Balland, José Antonio Belso-Martínez and Andrea Morrison


Although informal knowledge networks have often been regarded as a key ingredient behind the success of industrial clusters, the forces that shape their structure and dynamics remain largely unknown. Drawing on recent network dynamic models, we analyze the evolution of business and technical informal networks within a toy cluster in Spain. Empirical results suggest that the dynamics of the two networks differ to a large extent. We find that status drives the formation of business networks, proximity is more crucial for technical networks, while embeddedness plays an equally important role in the dynamics of business and technical networks.

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.

August 24, 2013

# 13.14 Proximity and Innovation: From Statics to Dynamics

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 12:59 pm

Pierre-Alexandre Balland, Ron Boschma, Koen Frenken


Despite theoretical and empirical advances, the proximity framework has remained essentially static in that the given proximity between actors explains the extent to which they interact in knowledge networks and profit from such interactions. We propose a dynamic extension of the proximity framework of Boschma in which we account for co-evolutionary dynamics between knowledge networking and proximity. For each proximity dimension, we describe how proximities might increase over time as a result of past knowledge ties. We capture these dynamics through the processes of learning (cognitive proximity), integration (organizational proximity), decoupling (social proximity), institutionalization (institutional proximity), and agglomeration (geographical proximity). We end with discussing several avenues for future research on the dynamics of knowledge networking and proximity.

September 2, 2012

# 12.17 The co-evolution of proximities – a network level study

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:22 pm

Tom Broekel


Despite the growing number of studies, still little is known about how network structures and proximity relations between linked actors evolve over time. Arguments are put forward for the existence of co-evolution dynamics between different types of proximity configurations within networks. An empirical investigation tests these arguments using information on the development of 280 networks. Amongst others, it is shown that institutional and cognitive proximity configurations coevolve in the short as well as in the long-run. While institutional and social proximity configurations are only related in the long run. Moreover, temporal auto-correlation dynamics characterizes the development of cognitive proximity configurations.

November 6, 2011

# 11.18 The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance

Tom Broekel and Ron Boschma


Firms’ embeddedness into knowledge networks has received much attention in the literature. However, little is known about the composition of firms’ ego-networks with respect to different types of proximities. Based on survey data of 295 firms in eight European regions, we show that the ego-networks of firms systematically differ in their geographical and cognitive embeddedness. We find that firms’ innovation performance is stimulated if the firm primarily links to technologically related firms as well as technologically similar organizations. Connecting with organizations at different geographical levels yields positive effects as well.

November 9, 2010

# 10.14 Network Dynamics in Regional Clusters: The Perspective of an Emerging Economy

Filed under: 2010 — Tags: , , , , — Noegg Blogger @ 9:06 am

Elisa Giuliani


Regional clusters are spatial agglomerations of firms operating in the same or connected industries, which enable innovation and economic performance for firms. A wealth of empirical literature shows that one of key elements of the success of regional clusters is that they facilitate the formation of local inter-organizational networks, which act as conduits of knowledge and innovation. While most studies analyze the benefits and characteristics of regional cluster networks and focus on advanced economies and high tech ‘hot spots’, this paper advances with the existing literature by analyzing network dynamics and taking an emerging economy’s perspective. Using longitudinal data of a wine cluster in Chile and stochastic actor-oriented models for network dynamics, this paper examines what micro-level effects influence the formation of new knowledge ties among wineries. It finds that the coexistence of cohesion effects (reciprocity and transitivity) and the presence of inter-firm knowledge base heterogeneity contribute to the stability of an informal hierarchical network structure over time. Empirical results have interesting implications for cluster competitiveness and network studies, and for the burgeoning literature on corporate behavior in emerging economies.

# 10.13 The Role of Technological Gatekeepers in the Growth of Industrial Clusters: Evidence from Chile

Filed under: 2010 — Tags: , , , , — Noegg Blogger @ 8:46 am

Elisa Giuliani


Industrial clusters are often associated with innovative success. However, there is very little research on what types of organizational models apply to clusters as they grow, to facilitate upgrading and innovation – and especially in emerging/developing countries. This paper uses longitudinal micro-level data for a wine cluster in Chile. They show that the most advanced firms in the cluster behave as Technological Gatekeepers – i.e. they acquire knowledge outside cluster boundaries and contribute to diffusing knowledge to other, potentially rival, local firms – and do so persistently over time. The results are explained by combining three theoretical perspectives: evolutionary economics theory; business studies on communities of practice and knowledge workers’ know-how trade; and embeddedness theory.

August 17, 2010

#10.09 What drives patent performance of German biotech firms? The impact of R&D subsidies, knowledge networks and their location

Filed under: 2010 — Tags: , , , , — Noegg Blogger @ 3:07 pm

Dirk Fornahl and Tom Broekel and Ron Boschma


This paper aims to explain whether firm-specific features, their engagement in collaboration networks and their location influence patent activity of biotech firms in Germany in the period 1997-2004. First, we demonstrate that non-collaborative R&D subsidies do not increase patent intensity of biotech firms. Second, the number of knowledge links biotech firms is also not influencing their patent performance. However, strong and robust evidence is found that some but not too much cognitive distance between actors involved in R&D collaborations increases patent performance of firms. Third, being located in a biotech cluster does positively impact on patent performance.

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