27 November 2014

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Michael Keller, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg. A full selection of the previous articles is available here.

The Role of R&D Collaboration Networks on Regional Innovation Performance

By : Cilem Selin Hazir, James Lesage and Corinne Autant-Bernard. Working paper GATE 2014-26. 2014.

Abstract: « In this study, we consider R&D collaboration networks as a mechanism that modifies knowledge flows in space, and hence as another source of interaction among regional innovation processes. Our objective is to understand the relative role of spatial neighbors and network neighbors on patenting performance of regions. We make use of data on R&D collaborations supported by the European Union's Framework Programs (FP) and empirically investigate the patent activity of 213 European regions in the field of ICT during 2003-2009. Concerning the short length of the time frame we adopt a static modeling strategy and specify a spatial Durbin Model. As spatial neighbors intersect with network neighbors we decompose neighbor regions into three sets: spatially proximate regions that are not collaboration partners, spatially proximate regions that are collaboration partners, and distant collaboration partners. We express the weight matrix as a convex combination of these three sets and by means of gridding we compare how model fit changes as we move from a purely space based view to a purely network based view to express the dependence structure. The weight matrix that performs the best accords 60% weight to distant collaboration partners, 30% weight to proximate collaboration partners and 10% weight to proximate regions with whom there is no FP collaboration. This result reveals that the interaction (proximate and distant) among European regions within FP networks in the field of ICT is key for understanding dependence among their patenting performances.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


How Do Geographical and Organisational Proximity Influence the Relational Pattern of MNCs’ Global Innovation Networks: An In-depth Case Study

By : Ju Liu. Papers in Innovation Studies, Lund University, 2014/16.

Abstract: « This paper explores the influencing mechanism of geographical and organisational proximity/distance on the intra-firm relations and external linkages in multinational companies’ (MNCs) global innovation networks (GINs). It adopts an in-depth case study method and employs social network analysis to study the relational pattern of the case GINs and to understand how the relations are organised and why they are organised in a certain pattern. It is found that the intra-firm relations of both case MNCs’ GINs are similarly organised in a global way. The external linkages in the two case GINs are organised in different ways (global vs local) which depend on the dominant knowledge is science-based or engineering-based. Two influencing mechanisms, namely complementary effect and conditional reinforcing effect, are found and discussed. Evidences in practice are identified.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Regional Cluster Policies in Germany - A Multi-Level Governance Perspective on Policy Learning

By : Matthias Kiese. European Review of Industrial Economics and Policy, Number 5.

Abstract: « Despite common reference to the cluster concept and some signs of policy convergence, cluster policies differ markedly, reflecting industry characteristics and institutional differences at various spatial scales, or levels of governance. This paper uses the case of Germany to illustrate the variety of regional cluster policies in a federal state. It particularly focuses on the relations, interdependencies and divisions of labour between four levels of governance. Policy learning can be observed either within or between regions and levels of governance, and the evidence shows that path-dependent incremental learning dominates while interregional learning is restricted to certain windows of opportunity.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Factors Explaining the Spatial Agglomeration of the Creative Class: Empirical Evidence for German Artists

By : Christoph Alfken, Tom Broekel and Rolf Sternberg. European Planning Studies, published online, 17 Nov 2014.

Abstract: « The paper contributes to the on-going debate about the relative importance of economic and amenity-related location factors for attracting talent or members of the creative class. While Florida highlights the role of amenities, openness and tolerance, others instead emphasize the role of regional productions systems, local labour markets and externalities. The paper sheds light on this issue by analysing the changes in the spatial distribution of four groups of artists over time: visual artists, performing artists, musicians and writers. Little evidence is found for amenity-related factors influencing the growth rates of regional artist populations. Moreover, artists are shown to be a heterogeneous group inasmuch as the relative importance of regional factors significantly differs between artistic branches.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Synergy and Co-agglomeration of Producer Services and Manufacturing: A Panel Data Analysis of Chinese Cities

By : Shanzi Ke, Ming He and Chenhua Yuan. Regional Studies, Volume 48, Issue 11, Pages 1829-1841, 2014.

Abstract: « This paper constructs a simultaneous equation model of co-agglomeration of producer services and manufacturing that highlights the synergy effects of the two sectors located in the same cities or neighbouring cities. It applies the fixed effects instrumental variable (FE IV) estimator to a panel dataset of 286 Chinese cities for the years 2003–2008. The FE IV spatial econometric estimates indicate that manufacturing industry tends to locate in the cities where producer services are located, and vice versa; a city's manufacturing (producer services) might relocate if producer services (manufacturing) agglomerated in the neighbouring cities; and agglomeration of each industry has spillover effects within its own industry across neighbouring cities.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Going Alone: The “Entrepreneurial-Growth Model” in the Life Science Industry in Italy

By : Fiorenza Belussi and Silvia R. Sedita. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 1, 2015.

Abstract: « This article investigates different models of financing firms and firm expansion in the Italian life science sector. Building on a broad secondary data base (“Zephyr”), the authors present a descriptive analysis of 438 financial transactions in which Italian life science firms were involved between 1997 and 2006. The results of this analysis demonstrate that forms of risk capital, such as private equity and venture capital play only a marginal role in financing Italian life science firms. In contrast, an “entrepreneurial growth model” based on traditional models of financing firm expansion—such as, e.g. mergers and acquisitions—dominates in quantitative terms. In an additional in-depth analysis of the Zephyr-database, the authors further identify six “emerging business strategies” of Italian life science firms, namely: horizontal expansion, cross-border expansion, forward vertical integration, specialization, technological upgrading and diversification. These strategies are illustrated in more detail using seven representative cases of individual firms.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Regional Economy, Spatial Structure and Regional Urban Systems

By : John B. Parr. Regional Studies, Volume 48, Issue 12, Pages 1926-1938.

Abstract: « In approaching the concept of the regional urban system, attention is initially drawn to the better-known types of economic region. The distinctive nature of the regional economy is next examined, and it is argued that its spatial structure represents an important dimension. Spatial structure can be characterized in a variety of ways, the most comprehensive of which employs the perspective of an urban system. This is examined firstly in terms of particular models from location theory, which provide important points of reference, and then within the setting of the present-day city-region.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Placemaking in a translocal receiving community: The relevance of place to identity and agency

By : Kelly Main and Gerardo Francisco Sandoval. Urban Studies, Volume 52, Issue 1, Pages 71-86, 2015.

Abstract: « Recent case studies of receiving communities have established that translocal immigrants are transforming their neighbourhoods, producing spaces of identity. While these studies have focused on the reshaping of local power dynamics, less attention has been given to the spaces, themselves, and the qualities that influence identity. This study utilises place identity literature, from environmental psychology, to explore the remaking of MacArthur Park, a public space at the centre of a Mexican and Central American immigrant community in Los Angeles, California. We find that new ‘place identities’ are influenced by the specific physical, social, and cultural elements of the park, as study participants attempt to maintain identities influenced by important places in their sending communities. The result is a park that has emotional significance for participants, significance that leads to agency – everyday and political practices – to protect the park, sometimes in the face of immense challenges.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Innovation in creative cities: Evidence from British small firms

By : Neil Lee and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose. Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography, 14.22, 2014.

Abstract: « Creative cities are seen as important sites for the generation of new ideas, products and processes. Yet, beyond case studies of a few high-profile cities, there is little empirical evidence on the link between local creative industries concentration and innovation. This paper addresses this gap with an analysis of around 1,300 UK SMEs. The results suggest that firms in local economies with high shares of creative industries employment are significantly more likely to introduce entirely new products and processes than firms elsewhere, but not innovations which are simply new to the firm. This effect is not exclusive to creative industries firms and seems to be largely due to firms in medium sized, rather than large, cities. The results imply that creative cities may have functional specialisations in new content creation and so firms are more innovative in them.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]