Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

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.


June 16, 2017

# 17.13 Technological Coherence and the Adaptive Resilience of Regional Economies

Filed under: 2017 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 6:42 pm

Silvia Rocchetta, Andrea Mina


This paper explores the effect of different regional technological profiles on the resilience of regional economies to exogenous shocks. We conduct an empirical examination of the determinants of resilience through panel analyses of UK NUTS III level data for the 2004-2012 period. The results indicate that regions endowed with technologically coherent – and not simply diversified – knowledge bases are better prepared to face an unforeseen downturn and display resilience. Moreover, local economies tend to be more adaptable if they innovate in sectors with the strongest growth opportunities, even though firms’ net entry does not appear to contribute significantly towards resilience.

October 11, 2016

# 16.27 Industrial diversification in Europe: The differentiated role of relatedness

Jing Xiao, Ron Boschma, Martin Andersson


There is increasing interest in the drivers of industrial diversification, and how these depend on economic and industry structures. This paper contributes to this line of inquiry by analyzing the role of relatedness in explaining variations in industry diversification, measured as the entry of new industry specializations, across 173 European regions during the period 2004-2012. There are significant differences across regions in Europe in terms of industrial diversification. Relatedness has a robust positive influence on the probability that new industry specialization develops in a region. A novel finding is that the influence of relatedness on the probability of new industrial specializations depends on innovation capacity. We find that relatedness is a more important driver of diversification in regions with a weaker innovation capacity. The effect of relatedness appears to decrease monotonically as the innovation capacity of a local economy increases. This is consistent with the argument that high innovation capacity allows an economy to ‘break from its past’ and to develop, for the economy, truly new industry specializations. We infer from this that innovation capacity is a critical factor for economic resilience.


October 26, 2013

# 13.20 On the Notion of Regional Economic Resilience: Conceptualisation and Explanation

Filed under: 2013 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 12:10 pm

Ron Martin and Peter Sunley


Over the past few years a new buzzword has entered academic, political and public discourse: the notion of resilience, a term invoked to describe how an entity or system responds to shocks and disturbances.   Although the concept has been used for some time in ecology and psychology, it is now invoked in diverse contexts, both as a perceived (and typically positive) attribute of an object, entity or system and, more normatively, as a desired feature that should somehow be promoted or fostered.  As part of this development, the notion of resilience is rapidly becoming part of the conceptual and analytical lexicon of regional and local economic studies: there is increasing interest in the resilience of regional, local and urban economies.  Further, resilience is rapidly emerging as an idea ‘whose time has come’ in policy debates: a new imperative of ‘constructing’ or ‘building’ regional and urban economic resilience is gaining currency.  However, this rush to use the idea of regional and local economic resilience in policy circles has arguably run somewhat ahead of our understanding of the concept.  There is still considerable ambiguity about what, precisely, is meant by the notion of regional economic resilience, about how it should be conceptualized and measured, what its determinants are, and how it links to patterns of long-run regional growth. The aim of this paper is to address these and related questions on the meaning and explanation of regional economic resilience and thereby to outline the directions of a research agenda.


June 14, 2012

# 12.12 From Resilience to Resourcefulness: A Critique of Resilience Policy and Activism

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 8:25 pm

Danny MacKinnon and Kate Driscoll Derickson


This paper provides a theoretical and political critique of how the concept of resilience has been applied to places. It is based upon three main points. First, the ecological concept of resilience is conservative when applied to social relations. Second, resilience is externally-defined by state agencies and expert knowledge. Third, a concern with the resilience of places is misplaced in terms of spatial scale, since the processes which shape resilience operate primary at the scale of capitalist social relations. In place of resilience, we offer the concept of resourcefulness as an alternative approach for community groups to foster.


April 8, 2012

# 12.04 Lock-in or lock-out? How structural properties of knowledge networks affect regional resilience?

Filed under: 2012 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 4:16 pm

Joan Crespo, Raphael Suire and Jérôme Vicente


The paper develops an evolutionary framework of regional resilience with a primary focus on the structural properties of local knowledge networks. After a presentation of the network-based rationales of growth and structuring of clusters, we analyze under which structural conditions a regional cluster can mix short run competitiveness without compromising long run resilience capabilities. We show that degree distribution (the level of hierarchy) and degree correlation (the level of structural homophily) of regional knowledge networks are suited properties for studying how clusters succeed in combining technological lock-in and regional lock-out. We propose a simple model of cluster structuring in order to highlight these properties, and discuss the results on a policy-oriented analysis. We conclude showing that policies for regional resilience fit better with ex ante regional diagnosis and targeted interventions on particular missing links, rather than ex post myopic applications of policies based on an unconditional increase of network relational density.


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