TCI Network
21 October 2017

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Damiano Lepori, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg.

The entire selection, carried out since 2013, can be consulted on the academic articles page of our web.


Location choices of graduate entrepreneurs

By: J. P. Larsson, K. Wennberg, J. Wiklund, M. Wright. Research Policy, Vol. 46, Iss. 8, pp. 1490-1504, 2017.

Abstract: “We review complementary theoretical perspectives on location choices of university graduate entrepreneurs derived from the individual-opportunity nexus and local embeddedness perspectives on entrepreneurship. Analysis of the full population of 215,388 graduates from Swedish institutions of higher education between 2002 and 2006 provides support for both location choice perspectives. Overall, 63% of graduate entrepreneurs start businesses locally in their region of graduation while 37% start businesses elsewhere. The likelihood of starting locally is substantially higher in metropolitan regions, if the graduate was born locally or has university peer entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial family members in the region of graduation. Implications for theory and public policy are discussed.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


What can be learned from Spatial Economics

By: S. Proost, J.-F. Thisse. National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), WP BRP 167/EC/2017, 2017.

Abstract: “Spatial economics aims to explain the location of economic activity. While the importance of the proximity to natural resources has declined considerably, distance and location have not disappeared from economic life. Recent work in spatial economics indicates that new forces, hitherto outweighed by natural factors, are shaping an economic landscape that, with its many barriers and large inequalities, is anything but 􏰅at. The location of economic activity is the outcome of a trade-o􏰃 between different types of scale economies and costs generated by the transfer of people, goods, and in- formation. This trade-off is used as a guide in our survey of the main developments in regional and urban economics, which refer to different spatial scales. The role of transport is discussed for each subfi􏰄eld. We briefly survey the ingredients that could be useful for a synthesis of regional and urban economics and conclude with general policy insights.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Sketching the Contours of an Integrative Paradigm of Economic Geography

By: R. Hassink, H. Gong. CIRCLE, Papers in Innovation Studies No. 2017/12, 2017.

Abstract: “Over the last twenty years, modern economic geography has been increasingly fragmented, particularly concerning its themes, on the one hand, and its schools of thought, perspectives and paradigms, on the other. Although there have been arguments in favor of engaged pluralism between the latter, what we see in reality is mainly fragmented pluralism, which is particularly problematic for the identification with the sub-discipline and the exchange with neighboring social disciplines. In order to solve this problem, in our view, we need an Integrative Paradigm of Economic Geography. In this paper, we sketch the contours of such a paradigm, which consists of a core, namely economic activities in space, place and scales and their drivers, and three inter-related ontological foundations, namely networks, evolution and institutions.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Fostering and planning urban regeneration: the governance of cultural districts in Copenhagen

By: C. Lidegaard, M. Nuccio, T. Bille. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1364352, 2017.

Abstract: “Policy-makers and urban planners struggle to find the right formula to implement urban regeneration processes based on cultural assets, often focusing on the desired outcomes, but rarely questioning how the policy process can shape them. This paper examines different governance models for the implementation and organization of cultural districts, and evaluates how they can affect their actual realization by investigating three cases in Copenhagen, Denmark. The deindustrialization of Copenhagen left many of the city’s harbour areas disused and in turn provided the opportunity to develop three new cultural districts in the city centre. The paper contributes to the literature on cultural districts by matching specificities and contingencies attached to a particular urban area with the governance model adopted for its development. The paper claims that temporal experimentation has to be included in cultural planning and a mix of bottom-up and top-down approaches is more desirable than both a totally unregulated initiative and a real estate-driven development and a totally unregulated initiative, as it ensures that initiatives remain financially viable and that the creative workers and companies retain a certain control of the area development, and in turn counteracts gentrification.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Regional knowledge spillovers: a firm-based analysis of non-linear effects

By: C. Carreira, L. Lopes. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1360484, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper revisits the question of the role of knowledge externalities in firm productivity. It also addresses the overlooked issue of a plausible non-linear effect and differences among industries. Using a panel of Portuguese manufacturing firms, it finds that regional knowledge spillovers differ substantially across industries and they are non-linear, which is critical issue to promoting more assertive regional policies.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


European R&D networks: A snapshot from the 7th EU Framework Programme

By: S. Amoroso, A. Coad, N. Grassano. JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation No. 05/2017, 2017.

Abstract: “Recent empirical studies have investigated the territorial impact of Europe’s research policies, in particular the contribution of the European Framework Programmes to the integration of a European Research Area. This paper deepens the analysis on the integration and participation of peripheral regions, by focusing on the differences in intensity and determinants of inter-regional collaborations across three groups of collaborations. We consider collaborations among more developed regions, between more and less developed regions, and among less developed regions. Building on the recent spatial interaction literature, this paper investigates the effects of physical, institutional, social and technological proximity on the intensity of inter-regional research collaboration across heterogenous European regions. We find that the impact of disparities in human capital and technological proximity on regional R&D cooperation is relevant and differs across subgroups of collaborations. Moreover, despite the efforts of integrating marginal actors, peripheral regions have lower rates of collaborations.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Distance-based agglomeration externalities and neighbouring firms’ characteristics

By: G. Cainelli, R. Ganau. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1360482, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper tests the hypothesis that firms with different characteristics can differ in their capability to produce local externalities by investigating the relationship between firm-specific distance-based weighted agglomeration measures and firms’ short-run productivity growth in the Italian manufacturing industry. The results suggest that positive localization economies increase with distance when neighbouring firms’ characteristics are accounted for. Diversification-type forces have negative effects on productivity growth at short distances, while there are positive effects at longer distances regardless of the weighting scheme considered. Moreover, the negative effect of inter- industry externalities seems to persist over distance when neighbouring firms’ characteristics are accounted for.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The role of exogenous and endogenous factors in the growth of regions in Central and Eastern Europe: the metropolitan/non-metropolitan divide in the pre- and post-crisis era

By: M. Smętkowski. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1361585, 2017.

Abstract: “The aim of the paper is to analyse regional growth factors in Central and Eastern European Countries in the pre- and post-crisis era. The comparison is focused on core (metropolitan) and non-core (non- metropolitan) regions. The study found that the development processes of the analysed groups of regions were in many respects similar. Achieving a high level of development in the context of post-socialist transformation was possible mainly owing to exogenous factors such as the influx of foreign direct investment (FDI) and multimodal transport accessibility. In the case of endogenous factors, the number of small- and medium- sized enterprises per capita was of cardinal importance for a high level of development, but it was no guarantee of fast growth dynamics in non-core regions. The main differences between the core and non-core regions included the role of human capital and migrations as metropolitan regions represented growth poles, which trained qualified specialists and served as destinations for migrants from non-core regions. However, the share of people with tertiary education played an important role in the development process of non-core regions. The crisis strengthened the role of exogenous growth factors, that is, the role of FDI inflow as well as the role of EU funds.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Managing local supplier networks: conflict or compromise?

By: M. Mathews. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1360479, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper examines conflict management in small firm networks. Informal conflict management strategies used in exchange relationships are identified and analysed. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 22 small and medium- sized enterprise managers in an industrial district in the south-east of France are analysed. Results point to managers adopting accommodating behaviours in conflicts with clients and compromising and collaborative strategies with local partners. This research reveals the mobilization of local norms in the management of conflicts and also contributes to research concerning competition and the possibility that managers of small firms may both separate and integrate competition activities.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The Role of Regional Context on Innovation Persistency of Firms

By: S. Tavassoli, C. Karlsson. CIRCLE, Papers in Innovation Studies No. 2017/11, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper analyses the role of regional context on innovation persistency of firms. Using five waves of the Community Innovation Survey in Sweden, we have traced firms’ innovative behaviour from 2002 to 2012, in terms of four Schumpeterian types of innovation: product, process, organizational, and marketing. Employing transition probability matrix and dynamic Probit model and controlling for an extensive set of firm-level characteristics, we find that certain regional characteristics matter for innovation persistency of firms. In particular, those firms located in regions with (i) thicker labour market or (ii) higher extent of knowledge spillover exhibit higher probability of being persistent innovators up to 14 percentage points. Such higher persistency is mostly pronounced for product innovators.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


R&D policy regimes in France: New evidence from a spatiotemporal analysis

By: B. Montmartin, M. Herrera, N. Massard. GAEL Working Paper No. 06/2017, 2017.

Abstract: “Using a unique database containing information on the amount of R&D tax credits and regional, national and European subsidies received by firms in French NUTS3 regions over the period 2001-2011, we provide new evidence on the efficiency of R&D policies taking into account spatial dependency across regions. By estimating a spatial Durbin model with regimes and fixed effects, we show that in a context of yardstick competition between regions, national subsidies are the only instrument that displays total leverage effect. For other instruments internal and external effects balance each other resulting in insignificant total effects. Structural breaks corresponding to tax credit reforms are also revealed.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Creative and science oriented employees and firm innovation: A key for Smarter Cities?

By: S. Brunow, A. Birkeneder, A. Rodriguez-Pose. IAB-Discussion Paper No. 24/2017, ISSN 2195-2663, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper examines the link between the endowment of creative and science based STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – workers and the level of the firm and firm- and city-/regional-level innovation in Germany. It also looks into whether the presence of these two groups of workers has greater benefits for larger cities than smaller locations, thus justifying policies to attract these workers in order to make German cities ‘smarter’. The empirical analysis is based on a probit estimation, covering 115,000 plant-level observations between 1998 and 2015. The results highlight that firms that employ creative and STEM workers are more innovative than those that do not. However, the positive connection of creative workers to innovation is limited to the boundaries of the firm, whereas that of STEM workers is as associated to the generation of considerable innovation spillovers. Hence, attracting STEM workers is more likely to end up making German cities smarter than focusing exclusively on creative workers.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Global value chains, innovation and performance: firm-level evidence from the Great Recession

By: E. Brancati, R. Brancati, A. Maresca. Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 17, Iss. 5, pp. 1039–1073, 2017.

Abstract: “This article takes advantage of a newly available survey on the Italian industry to analyze the behavior of global value chains (GVCs) in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We design a comprehensive taxonomy of GVC participation modes and explore their impact on firms’ innovativeness and performance. Our findings highlight relevant heterogeneities in how GVC participants fared the crisis. While high-skill relational suppliers display a significant propensity to engage in innovative activities and R&D projects, other modes of GVC participation have no premium compared to domestic companies. This heterogeneity is also reflected in differential productivity and sales growth. Compared to the precrisis trends, we document a severe demand shock for low-skill and subordinated firms, while relational GVCs appear to be somewhat sheltered from the effects of the crisis.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]