Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

March 15, 2018

# 18.13 What drives the geography of jobs in the US? Unpacking relatedness

Teresa Farinha Fernandes & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Andrea Morrison & Ron Boschma


Abstract: There is ample evidence of regions diversifying in new occupations that are related to pre- existing activities in the region. However, it is still poorly understood through which mechanisms related diversification operates. To unpack relatedness, we distinguish between three mechanisms: complementarity (interdependent tasks), similarity (sharing similar skills) and local synergy (based on pure co-location). We propose a measure for each of these relatedness dimensions and assess their impact on the evolution of the occupational structure of 389 US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) for the period 2005-2016. Our findings show that new jobs appearing in MSA’s are related to existing ones, while those more likely to disappear are more unrelated to a city’s jobs’ portfolio. We found that all three relatedness dimensions matter, but local synergy shows the largest impact on entry and exit of jobs in US cities.


January 28, 2017

# 17.04 What drives employment growth and social inclusion in EU regions?

Filed under: 2017 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 7:38 pm

Marco Di Cataldo and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose


The European Union promotes development strategies aimed at producing growth with “a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction”. However, whether the economic conditions in place in EU regions are ideal for the generation of high- and low-skilled employment and labour market inclusion is unclear. This paper assesses how the key factors behind EU growth strategies – infrastructure, human capital, innovation, quality of government – condition employment generation and labour market exclusion in European regions. The findings indicate that the dynamics of employment and social exclusion vary depending on the conditions in place in a region. While higher innovation and education contribute to overall employment generation in some regional contexts, low-skilled employment grows the most in regions with a better quality of government. Regional public institutions, together with the endowment of human capital, emerge as the main factors for the reduction of labour market exclusion – particularly in the less developed regions – and the promotion of inclusive employment growth across Europe.

August 29, 2016

# 16.25 Risk-taking, skill diversity, and the quality of human capital: how insurance affects innovation

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , — mattehartog @ 7:24 pm

Andrea Filippetti, Frederick Guy


We argue that human capital does a better job of fostering innovation when an economy has a diverse portfolio of specialist skills to draw on. While such a diverse portfolio is beneficial for a country, it includes many individual skill packages that are subject to considerable labour market risk. In the absence of strong income insurance (job security or unemployment insurance), the flight to safety in human capital investments will produce a national skill portfolio which is poorly diversified and less conducive to innovation.
Using country-level data for 25 OECD countries from 1985 to 2009, we find evidence that income insurance raises the marginal effect of human capital on innovation, with the latter measured by patenting. At the same time, we find a direct negative effect of insurance on patenting; at low-medium levels of human capital, the direct negative effect more than offsets the positive indirect effect, while at high levels of human capital the indirect positive effect dominates. We draw implications for income insurance and education policy.

April 5, 2016

# 16.06 Inter-industry labor flows

Filed under: 2016 — Tags: , , , , , — mattehartog @ 1:31 am

Frank Neffke, Anne Otto, Antje Weyh


Labor flows across industries reallocate resources and diffuse knowledge among economic activities. However, surprisingly little is known about the structure of such inter-industry flows. How freely do workers switch jobs among industries? Between which pairs of industries do we observe such switches? Do different types of workers have different transition matrices? Do these matrices change over time? Using German social security data, we generate stylized facts about inter-industry labor mobility and explore its consequences. We find that workers switch industries along tight paths that link industries in a sparse network. This labor-flow network is relatively stable over time, similar for workers in different occupations and wage categories and independent of whether workers move locally or over larger distances. When using these networks to construct inter-industry relatedness measures they prove better predictors of local industry growth rates than co-location or input-based alternatives. However, because industries that exchange much labor typically do not have correlated growth paths, the sparseness of the labor-flow network does not necessarily prevent a smooth reallocation of workers from shrinking to growing industries. To facilitate future research, the inter-industry relatedness matrices we develop are made available as an online appendix to this paper.

May 13, 2015

# 15.12 Knowledge flows in high-impact firms: How does relatedness influence survival, acquisition and exit?

Filed under: 2015 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 6:38 pm

Jonathan Borggren, Rikard H. Eriksson & Urban Lindgren


Following the impact on regional renewal and employment ascribed to rapidly growing firms (high-impact firms, HIFs), this paper argues that little is still known in economic geography and business studies today regarding the mechanisms influencing growth of such firms and, hence, the potential impact on regional employment. The aim of this paper is thus to explore how the qualitative content of skills (i.e. the degree of similarity, relatedness and unrelatedness) recruited to a firm during a period of fast growth influences its future success. Our findings, based on a sample of 1,589 HIFs in the Swedish economy, suggest that it is not only the number of people employed that matters in aiding the understanding of the future destiny of the firms –”but also, more importantly, it is the scope of the skills recruited and their proximity to related industries.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: