Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

December 30, 2017

# 17.32 Why do firms collaborate with local universities?

Filed under: 2017 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 11:01 am

Rune Dahl Fitjar, Martin Gjelsvik


This paper examines why firms sometimes collaborate locally rather than with higher-quality universities at a distance. Existing research has mostly relied on the localised knowledge spillover, or LKS, model to explain this. This model holds that knowledge transfer across distance is costly, and collaborating locally reduces the risk of information loss when the knowledge is transferred. However, there are various other reasons that could also explain the pattern. If the local university can make a useful contribution, firms might choose to look no further. Firms may also see collaboration as a long-term investment, helping to build up research quality at the local university with the hope of benefiting in the future. Finally, firms may want to contribute to the local community. We extend the LKS model with these additional motivations and explore their validity using data from 23 semi-structured interviews of firms that collaborate intensively with lower-tier local universities.


March 7, 2016

# 16.04 (Un)Related Variety and Employment Growth at the Sub-Regional Level

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 7:47 pm

Matthias Firgo and Peter Mayerhofer


Empirical results on the link between growth and diversity in (un)related industries proved to be highly dependent on the specific regional and temporal context. Making use of highly disaggregated employment data at the sub-regional level, we find that higher employment growth in Austria is mainly linked to unrelated variety. However, in-depth analyses by sectors and regional regimes illustrate substantial heterogeneity in the results, mainly driven by the service sector and by a large number of relatively small regions. Thus, our results argue against structural policy conclusions based on assessments across all economic sectors or different types of regions.

August 28, 2015

# 15.26 Same Place, Same Knowledge – Same People? The Geography of Non-Patent Citations in Dutch Polymer Patents

Dominik Heinisch, Önder Nomaler, Guido Buenstorf, Koen Frenken, Harry Lintsen


It has long been argued that geographic co-location supports knowledge spillovers. More recently, this argument has been challenged by showing that knowledge spillovers mainly flow through social networks, which may or may not be localized at various geographic scales. We further scrutinize the conjecture of geographically bounded knowledge spillovers by focusing on knowledge flows between academia and industry. Looking into citations to non-patent literature (NPL) in 2,385 Dutch polymer patents, we find that citation lags are shorter on average if Dutch rather than foreign NPLs are cited. However, when excluding individual and organizational self-citations, geographically proximate NPLs no longer diffuse faster than foreign NPLs. This suggests that knowledge is not “in the air” but transferred by mobile individuals and/or direct university-industry collaboration. Our findings moreover suggest an important role of international conferences in the diffusion of recent scientific knowledge.

March 28, 2015

# 15.08 Neighbor regions as the source of new industries

Filed under: 2015 — Tags: , , , , , , — mattehartog @ 1:41 am

Ron Boschma, Víctor Martín and Asier Minondo


The development of new industries demands access to local capabilities. Little attention has yet been paid to the role of spillovers from neighbor regions for industrial diversification, nor has the role of network linkages between neighbor regions been investigated. As the spread of capabilities has a strong geographical bias, we expect regions to develop new industries in which their neighbor regions are specialized. To test this hypothesis, we analyze the development of new industries in US states during the period 2000-2012. We show that an US state has a higher probability of developing a comparative advantage in a new industry if a neighbor state is specialized in that industry. We also show that neighbor US states have more similar export structures. This export similarity seems to be explained by higher social connectivity between neighbor states, as embodied in their bilateral migration patterns.

March 5, 2015

# 15.06 Regional heterogeneity and interregional research spillovers in European innovation: modeling and policy implications

Filed under: 2015 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 5:16 pm

Gianni Guastella and Frank van Oort


In agglomeration studies, the effects of various regional externalities related to knowledge spillovers remain largely unclear. To explain innovation clustering, scholars emphasize the contribution of Localized Knowledge Spillovers (LKS) and, specifically when estimating the Knowledge Production Function (KPF), of (interregional) research spillovers. However, less attention is paid to other causes of spatial heterogeneity. In applied works, spatial association in data is econometrically related to evidence of research spillovers. This paper argues that, in a KPF setting, omitting spatial heterogeneity might lead to biased estimates of the effect of research spillovers. As an empirical test, a spatial KPF is estimated using EU25 regional data, including a spatial trend to control for unexplained spatial variation in innovation. Accounting for geographical characteristics substantially weakens evidence of interregional research spillovers.

November 14, 2014

# 14.23 Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship in England and Wales

Filed under: 2014 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 7:15 pm

Andres Rodríguez-Pose and Daniel Hardy


British regions are becoming increasingly culturally diverse, with migration as the main driver. Does this diversity benefit local economies? This research examines the impact of cultural diversity on the entrepreneurial performance of UK regions. We focus on two largely overlooked factors, the measurement of diversity, and the skills composition of diverse populations. First, more that demonstrating the importance of cultural diversity for entrepreneurship, we show that the type of cultural diversity measured is a decisive factor. Second, the skill composition of diverse populations is also key. Diversity amongst the ranks of the highly skilled exerts the strongest impact upon start-up intensities. The empirical investigation employs spatial regression techniques and carriers out several robustness checks, including instrumental variables specifications, to corroborate our findings.

December 1, 2013

# 13.24 Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:02 pm

Riccardo Crescenzi, Max Nathan and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose


This paper investigates how physical, organisational, institutional, cognitive, social, and ethnic proximities between inventors shape their collaboration decisions. Using a new panel of UK inventors and a novel identification strategy, this paper systematically explores the net effects of all these ‘proximities’ on co-patenting.  The regression analysis allows us to identify the full effects of each proximity, both on choice of collaborator and on the underlying decision to collaborate. The results show that physical proximity is an important influence on collaboration, but is mediated by organisational and ethnic factors. Over time, physical proximity increases in salience. For multiple inventors, geographic proximity is, however, much less important than organisational, social, and ethnic links. For inventors as a whole, proximities are fundamentally complementary, while for multiple inventors they are substitutes.

May 19, 2012

# 12.07 The trilogy of knowledge spillovers in French regions: a history of nature, channels and boundaries

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 10:04 am

Olivier Brossard and Inès Moussa


We suggest three theoretical propositions on the nature, channels and boundaries of knowledge spillovers, and we test them with knowledge production functions estimated on French NUTS 3 regions over 2002–2008. Several novelties are introduced. First, we quantify external R&D to complement the usual internal R&D variable and assess the effect of knowledge nature on knowledge spillovers. Second, we construct several measures of the quantity and quality of regional knowledge diffusion channels and introduce them in our knowledge production functions. Third, we test several spatial panel specifications to assess robustness and evaluate the geographical boundaries of various types of knowledge spillovers. All methods converge to provide evidence for the following: 1) spillovers from internal R&D are larger than spillovers from external R&D; 2) the quantity and quality of regional knowledge transmission channels are important determinants of regional innovation; and 3) industrial and technological diversity produce positive knowledge externalities, not only locally but also in the neighbourhood of French regions.

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.

December 28, 2011

# 11.20 A relational approach to knowledge spillovers in biotech. Network structures as drivers of inter-organizational citation patterns

Filed under: 2011 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 2:41 pm

Ron Boschma and Pierre-Alexandre Balland and Dieter Kogler


In this paper, we analyze the geography of knowledge spillovers in biotech by investigating the way in which knowledge ties are organized. Following a relational account on knowledge spillovers, we depict knowledge networks as complex evolving structures that build on pre-existing knowledge and previously formed ties. In economic geography, there is still little understanding of how structural network forces (like preferential attachment and closure) shape the structure and formation of knowledge spillover networks in space. Our study investigates the knowledge spillover networks of biotech firms by means of inter-organizational citation patterns based on USPTO biotech patents in the years 2008-2010. Using a Stochastic Actor-Oriented Model (SAOM), we explain the driving forces behind the decision of actors to cite patents produced by other actors. Doing so, we address directly the endogenous forces of knowledge dynamics.

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