TCI Network
20 January 2018

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.


Outward FDI, location choices and innovation performance of emerging market enterprises

By: P. Piperopoulos, J. Wu, C. Wang. Research Policy, Vol. 47, Iss. 1, pp. 232-240, 2018.

Abstract: “Although prior research conceptualizes how knowledge-seeking motivates the internationalization of emerging- market enterprises (EMEs), whether outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) indeed leads to enhanced in- novation performance has received limited attention. We address this subject by conceptualizing how Chinese EMEs’ OFDI enhances their subsidiaries’ organizational learning and innovation performance and whether geographic location choices influence this relationship. Our panel data analysis of Chinese EMEs shows that OFDI has a positive effect on innovation performance of Chinese EMEs’ subsidiaries and that this effect is stronger when the OFDI is directed towards developed rather than emerging countries. These findings advance the notion that EMEs can use OFDI as a strategy to globalize R&D and enhance their innovation performance and demonstrate that certain established assumptions regarding organizational learning are not valid for EMEs.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Network topologies as collective social capital in cities and regions: a critical review of empirical studies

By: P. Galaso. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1406898, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper outlines a theoretical framework to study collective social capital at the local scale using social network analysis. To do so, it develops a review on empirical research that found evidence regarding the impact of networks on the performance of cities and regions. Eight network topologies are identified with collective social capital: size and composition, connectivity, closeness, clustering, small world, openness, centralization and heterophily. The paper inquires into the effects of these properties concluding that they influence two aspects that are highly relevant for territorial development: they facilitate the diffusion of information and they foster cooperation among actors. Results help tracing roots among three different academic fields: literature on social capital, local and regional economics, and social network analysis. Furthermore, the article suggests a framework to obtain relevant conclusions regarding political and economic aspects of territorial capacities.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Public R&D Subsidies: Collaborative versus Individual Place-Based Programs for SMEs

By: A. Bellucci, L. Pennacchio, A. Zazzaro. Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance, Working Paper No. 488, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper provides novel empirical evidence on the effectiveness of regional research and innovation policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It investigated two subsidy programs implemented at the regional level in central Italy. One program targeted SMEs’ individual investments in research, and the other focused on collaborative research between SMEs and universities. Using a matched difference-in-differences approach, the empirical analysis showed that the two programs had different effects. The first was successful in stimulating additional private R&D investment and improving firms’ performance. The second had weaker effects, mostly restricted to R&D expenditure and employment. These effects were not always uniformly distributed among project participants.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The role of collaborative networks in supporting the innovation performances of lagging-behind European regions

By: I. De Noni, L. Orsi, F. Belussi. Research Policy, Vol. 47, Iss. 1, pp. 1-13, 2018.

Abstract: “In rapidly changing regional economies, less innovative European regions (henceforth referred to as lagging- behind regions) must actively work to reduce the gap between them and knowledge-intensive regions. Recent literature has stressed that the lack of efficient institutional settings reduces the opportunities of local knowledge spillover and increases the need for local organisations to exploit collaborative networks to better support their innovation performance. In this light, since increasing attention has recently been directed at the role of inter- regional collaborations, we have measured the capacity of local innovative organisations embedded in lagging- behind European regions to develop internal and external regional inventors’ networks by exploring their col- laborative patenting processes. Then, a seven-year panel dataset (2002–2008) was organised using patents data at a regional level to validate the research hypothesis that collaborations, and specifically with highly innovative (knowledge-intensive) regions, positively affect the innovation performances of lagging-behind regions. Finally, the implications of EU policies for supporting lagging-behind regions are discussed.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The impact of broadband and other infrastructure on the location of new business establishments

By: D. McCoy, S. Lyons, E. Morgenroth, D. Palcic, L. Allen. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Working Paper No. 282, 2017.

Abstract: “This paper analyses the impact of broadband infrastructure, along with a range of other local charac- teristics such as motorways and other infrastructure, availability of human capital and access to third level educational facilities, on the location of new business establishments. The sample period spans the intro- duction and recent history of broadband in Ireland. The results indicate that the availability of broadband infrastructure is a significant determinant, but its effects may be mediated by the presence of sufficiently high human capital in an area.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Determining the effects of open innovation: the role of knowledge and geographical spillovers

By: A. Triguero, S. Fernández. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1395004, 2017.

Abstract: “Determining the effects of open innovation: the role of knowledge and geographical spillovers. Regional Studies. This paper examines the influence of open-innovation strategies and knowledge spillovers on innovative performance on a large sample of Spanish manufacturing firms during 1998–2013. Although most open-innovation strategies positively influence innovation, some differences are found depending on the search innovative strategy: technological collaboration with universities, providers, and external research and development (R&D) advice have a positive effect, while collaborations with customers and competitors are not significant. Finally, the paper confirms the positive effects of involuntary knowledge spillovers only for product innovation and of R&D neighbours in the same sector; and the negative effect of R&D neighbours in other sectors.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Returning to work: regional determinants of re- employment after major redundancies

By: E. Hane-Weijman, R. H. Eriksson, M. Henning. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1395006, 2017.

Abstract: “Using matched employer–employee data on roughly 429,000 workers made redundant from large plant closures or major downsizing in Sweden between 1990 and 2005, this paper analyses the role of the regional industry mix (specialization, related and unrelated variety) in the likelihood of returning to work. The results show that a high presence of same or related industries speeds up the re-employment process, while high concentrations of unrelated activities do not. The role of related activities is particularly evident in the short run and in regions with high unemployment. Consequently, the prospect of successful diversification is enhanced in regions with related industries.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Transitioning beyond coal: Lessons from the structural renewal of Europe’s old industrial regions

By: S. Campbell, L. Coenen. Centre for Climate Economics and Policy, CCEP Working Paper No. 1709, 2017.

Abstract: “It is often assumed that a transition to a low-carbon future will have highly disruptive and potentially devastating effects on coal regions and their communities. However, evidence from the experience of industrial decline and attempted renewal in Europe’s old industrial regions demonstrates that successful regional transition is—while not inevitable—indeed possible. Fundamental transformation of existing industrial, institutional, social and technological structures is not an easy nor straightforward process but fraught with the challenges of creative destruction: while new industrial activities and structures emerge, existing ones are broken down. Drawing on the literature of regional resilience and innovation, the paper offers lessons, insights and cautionary warnings from the experience of renewal initiatives in Europe’s old industrial regions and illustrates the ways in which some of the seeds for a ‘just’ regional transitions to zero-carbon economies may, in fact, lie in a careful understanding of the potential to build on the specific historical context of the regions industrial development and capabilities.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Innovation in Russia: the territorial dimension

By: R. Crescenzi, A. Jaax. Economic Geography, Vol. 93, Iss. 1, pp. 66-88, 2017.

Abstract: “The debate on Russia’s innovation performance has paid little attention to the role of geography. This article addresses this gap by integrating an evolutionary dimension in an augmented regional knowledge production function framework to examine the territorial dynamics of knowledge creation in Russia. The empirical analysis identifies a strong link between regional research and development (R&D) expenditure and patenting performance. However, R&D appears inadequately connected to regional human capital. Conversely, multinational enterprises (MNEs) play a fundamental role as global knowledge pipelines. The incorporation of historic variables reveals that the Russian case is a striking example of long-term path dependency in regional patterns of knowledge generation. Endowment with Soviet-founded science cities remains a strong predictor of current patenting. However, current innovation drivers and policies also concur to enhance (or hinder) innovation performance in all regions. The alignment of regional innovation efforts, exposure to localized knowledge flows and injections of foreign knowledge channeled by MNEs make path renewal and path creation possible, opening new windows of locational opportunity.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


New firm formation and regional knowledge production modes: Italian evidence

By: A. Colombelli, F. Quatraro. Research Policy, Vol. 47, Iss. 1, pp. 139-157, 2018.

Abstract: “According to the knowledge-spillovers theory of entrepreneurship (KSTE), local knowledge spillovers affect entrepreneurial dynamics, because of knowledge asymmetries and uncertainty. Most of the empirical literature has tested this hypothesis using a measure of local knowledge stock. This paper is aimed at extending the framework by showing that the domains over which local knowledge spans are also important. The paper in- vestigates the impact of the configuration of local knowledge bases on new firm formation dynamics by com- bining the KSTE framework with the recombinant knowledge approach. Local knowledge bases emerge from the combination of different knowledge inputs. These inputs may be closely or loosely related to one another. Technological differentiation and the relatedness degree of local competences can be interpreted as character- istics of the local knowledge base interacting with the knowledge filter and the entrepreneurial absorptive ca- pacity. The paper proposes a taxonomy of regional modes of knowledge production and investigates new firm formation in 92 Italian NUTS 3 regions observed over the 1995–2009 time span. The results confirm that the availability of local knowledge pools is important, and show that the ‘rich integration’ mode is the configuration that favours the entrepreneurial process. Finally, the policy implications and avenues for further research are presented and discussed.”