TCI Network
22 February 2019

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.


Abstract: “This article uses an agent-based model of intercity firm location to explore the industrial composition of cities. Starting from a random allocation of firms across cities, firms relocate in pursuit of greater profit. There are several key results. First, there is a positive The core in the periphery? The cluster organization as the central node in the Apulian aerospace district

By: G. Calignano, R. D. Fitjar, Dieter F. Kogler. Regional Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2017.1420155, 2018.

Abstract: “Cluster policy is often ineffective in peripheral regions with weak institutions and significant barriers to knowledge production and exchange. Nonetheless, many peripheral regions have pursued such policies in recent years, an example being technology districts in southern Italy. This paper examines one such district – the aerospace district in Apulia – where policy has focused on indirect support for networking through coordination. This has led to a substantial increase in knowledge exchange within the district, but also to a heavy dependence on the cluster organization itself as the key actor in the knowledge-exchange network.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Emergence of Coagglomeration

By: A. O’Sullivan, W. C. Strange. Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 18, Iss. 2, pp. 293–and nonlinear relationship between the strength of inter-industry external economies and coagglomeration, a result that supports using coagglomeration to study themicrofoundations of agglomeration economies and to determine the boundaries of industry clusters. Second, the equilibrium level of coagglomeration is less than the efficient level. Third, history matters in the sense that a legacy of homogeneous or heterogeneous cities tilts the economy in favor of the historical pattern. Fourth, an increase in firm size increases coagglomeration. Fifth, an increase in relocation cost increases coagglomeration.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Interpreting Economic Diversity as the Presence of Multiple Specializations

By: J. Chen. West Virginia University, Regional Research Institute and Department of Geology and Geography, Working Paper No. 2018-02, 2018.

Abstract: “Conventional wisdom indicates that economic specialization can promote economic growth, whereas economic stability is theoretically associated with diversified economies. This conflicting relationship be- tween specialization and diversity has been questioned, as regional scientists have suggested that specialization and diversity can coexist in a regional economy and proposed the concept of diversified specializations. To test this proposition empirically, three Herfindahl Hirschman Indices measuring regional economic diversity were used to examine the relationship between economic structure and regional economic performance among 359 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the contiguous U.S. The first index measures economic diversity across 87 three-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) sectors for each MSA; the second index quantifies economic diversity among 51 clusters identified by Delgado et al. in J. Econ. Geogr. 16(1), 1-38 (2016); and the third index considers the effects of both industry and cluster diversity. This analysis confirms that industry diversity promotes economic stability, and also demonstrates that cluster diversity contributes to both economic stability and growth. I thus conclude that regions can simultaneously pursue both high and stable economic growth.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


On the geography of emerging industry technological networks: the breadth and depth of patented innovations

By: S. Awate,  R. Mudambi. Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 18, Iss. 2, pp. 391–419, 2018.

Abstract: “We study an emerging industry’s technological network in which the patented technologies of the industry are connected to the geographic locations of the inventors. Our research context is the global wind turbine industry. The network maps the geography of the industry’s patented technologies over time. It shows the locations’ patenting activities in different technologies, centered around the core classes of electricity and aerodynamics. These activities shape the locations’ positions in the global patent network and indicate their relative importance to the industry’s innovations. We note that the network and thus the relative positions of the locations within it are constantly changing. We examine how the existing patented knowledge stock at a location affects its position in this technological network. Further, we analyze how locations that enter the global technology network attain centrality.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Place-based entrepreneurship and innovation policy for industrial diversification

By: M. Grillitsch. Lund University, Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Paper in Innovation Studies No. 2018/03, 2018.

Abstract: “This paper proposes a conceptual and analytical framework for the development of place-based entrepreneurship and innovation policies aiming at industrial diversification. The starting point for this paper is the entrepreneurial ecosystem concept, which is frequently used to inform such policies. However, this concept does not specify the causal mechanisms driving industrial diversification. Furthermore, it remains questionable to what extent the concept can be applied to different regional contexts. In order to address these shortfalls, this paper i) discusses the barriers and opportunities for industrial diversification in different regional contexts, and ii) introduces a place-based policy framework for new industrial path development through entrepreneurship and innovation policies.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]



The Micro-Geography of Academic Research: How Distinctive is Economics?

By: J. Gibson. University of Waikato, Working Paper in Economics No. 3/18, 2018.

Abstract: “This study examines micro-geographic clustering of academic research, focusing on economics. Three U.S. ZIP codes are associated with articles in the top five economics journals that garnered one-half of all citations to the articles published in these journals over 2000 to 2015. This remarkable degree of micro-geographic concentration is not apparent in any other discipline. Outside of economics the top three ZIP codes are associated with just 12% of citations to their top five journals, on average. Concentration of citations to economics articles whose authors are associated with a few key ZIP codes has strengthened over time, even as it has weakened for other disciplines. This distinctively high level of spatial concentration in economics research is not consistent with hypotheses about disciplinary differences stemming from market forces or from reliance on research infrastructure located in specific locations.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Cohesion Policy Incentives for Collaborative Industrial Research. The Evaluation of a Smart Specialisation Forerunner Programme

By: R. Crescenzi, G. de Blasio, M. Giua. Spatial Economics Research Centre, SERC Discussion Paper No. 231, 2018.

Abstract: “This paper evaluates a program of subsidies for Collaborative Industrial Research (co-) funded by the EU Cohesion Policy in Italy mobilizing over 1 billion euros. This program anticipated in the 2007-2013 funding cycle some of the key features of Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) programmes, offering evidence-based insights on potential challenges to the practical application of the S3 approach. The programme was not successful in boosting investments, value added or employment of beneficiary firms. The collaborative dimension of the projects added limited value and a more generous level funding would have not improved effectiveness. However, positive impacts emerged in low tech sectors.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Inter-Firm Networks and Firm Performance: The Case of Italy

By: C. Burlina. University of Padova. Marco Fanno Working Paper No. 216, 2018.

Abstract: “This study investigates a particular type of network, the inter-firm network (IFN), and its impact on performances of Italian firms between 2010-2015. After revising the literature on alliances and networks for what concerns the geographical and industrial dimension, I focus my attention on networks’ performance and innovation propensity. The empirical analysis, based on a sample of about 4,000 firms, is divided in two parts: firstly, applying a “difference- in-difference” technique, is tested the impact of being in an IFN; secondly, focusing on year 2013, are measured the different effects of IFN characteristics. Results demonstrate that belonging to an IFN has a positive impact on firms’ growth. Moreover, industry heterogeneity of members and internationalisation scope (rather than innovation) turn out to be the main factors increasing firm’s profitability and economic growth.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Proximity and modes of innovation – evidence from two agricultural engineering industries in north-west Germany

By: D. Santner. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2018.1427700, 2018.

Abstract: “Recently, policymakers realized the important role of traditional industries for regional development. However, traditional policies of the last decades mainly focussed on science-intensive high- tech industries. Therefore, it is important to understand, how traditional industries innovate and renew themselves. One of the most notable recent strands of literature distinguishing between the characteristics of high- and low-tech industries is the one on modes of innovation. However, another very important approach related to innovation and regional development, the proximity literature, has only partly discussed in relation to innovation modes. This paper seeks to contribute to this issue by focussing on two traditional agricultural engineering industries from north- western Germany that experienced processes of renewal in the first years of the twenty-first century. It is shown that these industries followed very different developments and utilized different forms of proximities in this process in very specific ways.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


On the evolution of the Castel Goffredo hosiery cluster: a life cycle perspective

By: G. Carli, A. Morrison. European Planning Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2018.1448757, 2018.

Abstract: “The ‘life cycle’ approach has become popular in studies on industrial clusters. However, some concerns have been raised over the inherent determinism of this approach and its tendencies to focus exclusively on cluster internal dynamics while neglecting the role of external factors and socio-economic contingencies. This paper addresses these criticisms by investigating the long-term development of Castel Goffredo, a traditional textile cluster in Italy. In our analysis, we identify and characterize the main stages of the life cycle and its antecedents. We single out the main triggering factors behind each of these stages and show that a variety of factors, both external and internal to the cluster, contributed to its development. Our findings confirm that an ‘adaptive’ cycle approach, which focuses also on contingencies and external factors, appear to be appropriate for investigating the long-term evolution of clusters.” [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]