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 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.

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.

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.

April 9, 2010

#10.06 The Geography of Internet Infrastructure: An evolutionary simulation approach based on preferential attachment

Filed under: 2010 — Tags: , , , — Noegg Blogger @ 10:37 am

Sandra Vinciguerra and Koen Frenken and Marco Valente


We model the evolution of infrastructure networks as a preferential attachment process. We assume that geographical distance and country borders provide barriers to link formation in infrastructure networks. The model is validated against empirical data on the European Internet infrastructure network covering 209 cities. We successfully simulate the average path length and average clustering coefficient of the observed network. Furthermore, the simulated network shows a significant correlation with the observed European Internet infrastructure network. We end with a discussion on the future uses of preferential attachment models in the light of the literature on world cities and global cities.

November 13, 2009

#09.18 Spaces of Innovation: learning, proximity and the ecological turn

Filed under: 2009 — Tags: , , — Noegg Blogger @ 3:37 pm

Adrian Healy and Kevin Morgan


Contrary to the fashionable “death of distance” thesis, the socio-spatial context for innovation remains as important as ever for firms, networks and the public institutions that tend to be neglected in orthodox narratives of learning. In this article we explore the changing socio-spatial dynamics of innovation through the medium of three arguments: (i) that the “learning region” debate was worth having because it triggered a fruitful dialogue between innovation theorists and economic geographers; (ii) that geographical proximity remains central to our understanding of learning and innovation and should not be reduced to, or conflated with, physical co-location; and (iii) that “the ecological turn” challenges conventional conceptions of learning, innovation and development, posing  unsettling questions about the forces of path dependency, especially in less favoured regions.

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