Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

June 1, 2015

# 15.18 Evolutionary Economic Geography

Ron Boschma and Koen Frenken


The chapter gives a brief overview of the most recent literature on Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG). We describe how EEG has provided new and additional insights on a number of topics that belong to the core of the economic geography discipline: why do industries concentrate in space, how do clusters operate and evolve, how are innovation networks structured in space and how do they evolve over time, what types of agglomeration externalities induce urban and regional growth, how do regions diversify, and how do institutions and institutional change matter for the development of new growth paths in regions.


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.

June 3, 2014

# 14.13 Relatedness in eco-technological development in European regions

Filed under: 2014 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 11:02 am

Martijn van den Berge and  Anet Weterings


Within the smart specialisation programme, the European Commission urges regional policy-makers to assess their regional innovation potential and consider investing in the areas of eco-technologies taking into account the regions’ specific strengths and weaknesses. In evolutionary economic geography, several studies have shown that regional innovation is a path dependent process whereby new technologies develop out of the existing regional knowledge base. In this paper, we examine to what extent this is also the case for eco-innovation; if so, the existing technological structure of a region would be an important source of information for regional policymakers with respect to designing their eco-innovation policy agenda. Our results show that in EU-regions both the probability of developing eco-innovations and the number of patents in this field depends on the patents that have been developed in related fields in the region in prior years.

January 8, 2012

# 12.01 The emergence of new industries at the regional level in Spain A proximity approach based on product-relatedness

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , , — mattehartog @ 3:13 pm

Ron Boschma and Asier Minondo and Mikel Navarro


How do regions diversify over time? Inspired by recent studies, we argue that regions diversify into industries that make use of capabilities in which regions are specialized. As the spread of capabilities occurs through mechanisms that have a strong regional bias, we expect that capabilities available at the regional level play a larger role than capabilities available at the country level for the development of new industries. To test this, we analyze the emergence of new industries in 50 Spanish regions at the NUTS 3 level in the period 1988-2008. We calculate the capability-distance between new export products and existing export products in Spanish regions, and provide econometric evidence that regions tend to diversify into new industries that use similar capabilities as existing industries in these regions. We show that proximity to the regional industrial structure plays a much larger role in the emergence of new industries in regions than proximity to the national industrial structure. This suggests that capabilities at the regional level enable the development of new industries.

July 8, 2011

# 11.13 The place of new industries: the case of fuel cell technology and its technological relatedness to regional knowledge bases

Anne Nygaard Tanner


The evolutionary turn in economic geography has proposed that regional diversification is a path-dependent process whereby new industries grow out of preexisting industrial structures through technologically related localized knowledge spillover. This paper examines if this also applies for industries developed around emerging radical technology. I develop a new measure for technological relatedness between the knowledge base of the region and that of a radical technology, namely, fuel cells. It is demonstrated that even in the case of a high degree of radicalness and discontinuity, knowledge generation is still cumulative in its spatial and cognitive dimensions, corroborating the evolutionary thesis.

January 3, 2011

# 11.01 The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography

Ron Boschma and Koen Frenken


Following last decade’s programmatic papers on Evolutionary Economic Geography, we report on recent empirical advances and how this empirical work can be positioned vis-à-vis other strands of research in economic geography. First, we review studies on the path dependent nature of clustering, and how the evolutionary perspective relates to that of New Economic Geography. Second, we discuss research on agglomeration externalities in Regional Science, and how Evolutionary Economic Geography contributed to this literature with the concepts of cognitive proximity and related variety. Third, we go into the role of institutions in Evolutionary Economic Geography, and we relate this to the way Institutional Economic Geography tends to view institutions. From this discussion, a number of new research challenges are derived.

October 28, 2009

#09.16 How do regions diversify over time? Industry relatedness and the development of new growth paths in regions

Frank Neffke and Martin Henning and Ron Boschma


The question of how new regional growth paths emerge has been raised by many leading economic geographers. From an evolutionary perspective, there are strong reasons to believe that regions are most likely to branch into industries that are technologically related to the preexisting industries in the region. Employing a new indicator of technological relatedness between manufacturing industries, we analyze the economic evolution of 70 Swedish regions during the period 1969-2002 using detailed plant-level data. Our analyses show that the long-term evolution of the economic landscape in Sweden is subject to strong path dependencies. Industries that were technologically related to pre-existing industries in a region had a higher probability to enter the region, as compared to unrelated industries. And unrelated industries had a higher probability to exit the region. Moreover, we found that industrial profiles of Swedish regions showed a high degree of technological coherence. Despite substantial structural change, this coherence was very persistent over time. Our methodology also proved useful when focusing on the economic evolution of one particular region. Our analysis showed that the Linköping region increased its industrial coherence during 30 years, due to the entry of industries that were closely related to its regional portfolio on the one hand, and the exit of industries that were technologically peripheral to its regional portfolio on the other hand. In sum, we find systematic evidence that the rise and fall of industries is strongly conditioned by industrial relatedness at the regional level.

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