29 March 2015

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


Interpartner Legitimacy Effects on Cluster Initiative Formation and Development Processes

By : Anna Emmoth, Sabine Gebert Persson and Helene Lundberg. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp. 892-908, 2015.

Abstract: « In spite of the growing interest in cluster initiatives (CIs) as a means of regional development, there are still few studies of CIs that offer an inside perspective. This article takes such an inside perspective, focusing on the internal legitimacy aspects of the formation and evolving processes of CIs. We propose the inclusion of interpartner legitimacy effects in order to better understand the formation and development of CIs. A case study method is applied on a Swedish CI in the tourism industry. Faced with the situation that their region was lagging behind other Swedish regions in the development of tourism, the actors were spurred to promote a CI. Its central purposes were to consolidate the regional tourism industry, strengthen the regional brand and to establish the entire region as a single coherent destination. This paper contributes to the research body of regional development and CIs by showing how different types of interpartner legitimacies hinder and facilitate the CI process.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The determinants of regional specialisation in business services: agglomeration economies, vertical linkages and innovation

By : Valentina Meliciani and Maria Savona. Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 387-416, 2015.

Abstract: « The article accounts for the determinants of sectoral specialisation in business services (BS) across the EU-27 regions as determined by: (i) agglomeration economies (ii) the region-specific structure of intermediate linkages (iii) technological innovation and knowledge intensity and (iv) the presence of these factors in neighbouring regions. The empirical analysis draws upon the REGIO panel database over the period 1999–2003. By estimating a Spatial Durbin Model, we find significant spatial effects in explaining regional specialisation in BS. Our findings show that, besides urbanisation economies, the spatial structure of intermediate sectoral linkages and innovation, in particular Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), are important determinants of specialisation in BS. The article contributes to the debate on the global versus local determinants of regional specialisation in BS by restating the importance of the regional sectoral structure besides that of urbanisation. We draw policy implications by rejecting the ‘footloose hypothesis’ for BS.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Regional Policy and the Productive Efficiency of Japanese Industries

By : Akihiro Otsuka and Mika Goto. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 4, Pages 518-531, 2015.

Abstract: « This paper examines the impacts of agglomeration economies and fiscal transfer on productive efficiency in Japanese regional industries. Two popular methodologies are applied – stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) – to measure productive efficiency. The empirical findings are summarized as follows: (1) agglomeration economies improve productive efficiency; (2) fiscal transfer negatively influences productive efficiency; (3) those two findings are observed for aggregated manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries, and for sectors in manufacturing industries; and (4) the importance of agglomeration economies for regional industries has increased in recent years. Based on these results, this paper discusses effective regional policy for Japan.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Urban Policy Mobilities: The Case of Turin as a Smart City

By : Silvia Crivello. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp. 909-921, 2015.

Abstract: « This article analyses urban policy mobilities taking into consideration the idea of the smart city, which is currently a sort of leitmotif used in many cities within the framework of discourses on urban development. More specifically, this article offers an analysis concerning the circulation and implementation of the idea of the smart city in Turin, Italy. It investigates the actors, processes and networks involved in the mobilization and reproduction of the idea, as well as the mechanisms, concerning the embedding of the smart city discourse in the institutional fabric of the city of Turin, Italy. It also emphasizes how urban policy mobility can develop even without processes of “imitation” and “adaptation” of best practices from other cities.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


The Specialization in Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) across Europe: Permanent Co-Localization to Debate

By : Jorge Gallego and Andrés Maroto. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 4, Pages 644-664, 2015.

Abstract: « Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) have traditionally been said to require the establishment of face-to-face contacts in the transmission of the knowledge-based intermediate inputs they provide, which accordingly influence their localization patterns. However, the search of geographical proximity amongst economics actors implies less and less the need to localize near each other. The study tests this using Eurostat data on regional specialization in KIBS for 230 NUTS-2 regions from eighteen European countries for the period 2000–2007. The findings of the estimated spatial autoregressive (SAR) models suggest how the nodes of transport and communication networks may be relaxing the need of KIBS for permanent co-localization.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Spatial Evolution of the Polish Biotech Industry: A Path-Dependent Process?

By : Piotr Dawidko and Grzegorz Micek. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp. 944-962, 2015.

Abstract: « In Poland, similarly to other Central and Eastern European countries, the development of the biotech industry dates back to the late 1980s, when the first private companies were established. The political and economic transformation of 1989 enabled mass development of private enterprises, but over the course of 20 years of development, only a couple of dozens biotech firms have emerged in Poland. The spatial evolution of the industry shows a strong concentration in Poland's six largest urban centres, which are characterized by the best scientific base, access to financial capital, and a well-developed local entrepreneurial culture. Given that all biotech clusters are also important centres of the pharmaceutical industry, despite the fact that there are no strong direct relationships between Poland's biotech and pharmaceutical companies, the authors of this paper put forward the thesis that the institutional environment of the pharmaceutical sector also affects the development of the biotech industry.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Coagglomeration of formal and informal industry: evidence from India

By : Megha Mukim. Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 329-351, 2015.

Abstract: « A large and growing informal sector is a major feature of developing countries. I analyze coagglomeration patterns between formal and informal manufacturing enterprises in India, and study (i) the causes underlying these patterns, and (ii) the positive externalities, if any, on the entry of new firms. I find that buyer–seller and technology linkages explain much of formal–informal coagglomeration. I also find that this sectoral, within-industry, coagglomeration matters mostly to small- and medium-sized formal firms births. Traditional measures of agglomeration remain important in explaining new industrial activity, whether in the formal or the informal sectors.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Broadening Our Knowledge on Cluster Evolution

By : Dirk Fornahl, Robert Hassink and Max-Peter Menzel. European Planning Studies, Published online: 06 Mar 2015.

Abstract: « This special issue aims to broaden our knowledge on actors, networks and institutions during the life cycle and evolution of clusters in two ways. First, by empirically focusing on hitherto neglected particularities of cluster evolution as well as more nuanced views on actors, networks and institutions in cluster evolution; second, conceptually, by broadening the focus of the prior approaches by integrating different and previously neglected dynamics into this strand of literature. In the following, we first describe new approaches on evolution and life cycles of clusters and how they differ from previous approaches in Section 2. This section also elaborates on actors, networks and institutions as drivers for cluster evolution and through its life cycle. Section 3 describes the contributions of this special issue. We finish this editorial with some thoughts on further research in Section 4.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Efforts to Implement Smart Specialization in Practice—Leading Unlike Horses to the Water

By : Henning Kroll. European Planning Studies, Published online 25 Jan 2015.

Abstract: « This paper reflects on the implementation of the RIS3 policy agenda. Based on two surveys and various phone interviews, it underlines that Europe's diverse pattern of institutional arrangements poses locally contingent policy challenges in which regional governance capacities are at least as important an issue as techno-economic potentials. In detail, it demonstrates how Southern Europe profited from novel practices while Eastern Europe had to invest substantially to change existing routines. Concluding, it argues that the main merit of RIS3 processes may, in fact, lie in their contribution to changing routines and practices of governance even if those, for now, remain without measurable effect on policy.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Layers of co-existing innovation systems

By Johannes Meuer, Christian Rupietta and Uschi Backes-Gellner. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 4, Pages 888-910, 2015.

Abstract: « The innovation systems approach, which has taken a prominent position in the academic literature, has also influenced policy-makers around the globe. Most research analyses innovation systems taking a national, regional or sectoral perspective, following a ‘technological imperative’. Yet changes in institutional conditions and the importance of non-technological innovation question the accuracy and the relevance of the existing boundaries of innovation systems. These developments ask for a better understanding of how innovation systems integrate within and across different levels. Drawing on a novel combination of configurational and econometric analysis, we analyse 384 Swiss firms and identify five co-existing innovation systems: two generic innovation systems, the autarkic and the knowledge-internalisation; one regional innovation system, the protected hierarchy; and two sectoral innovation systems, the public sciences and the organised learning. The generic innovation systems entail the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation’ (STI) and the ‘Doing, Interacting and Using’ (DUI) learning modes. These systems are structurally distinct and do not integrate. In contrast, all regional and sectoral innovation systems integrate the learning modes of the generic innovation systems and complement them with idiosyncratic elements. The perspective on co-existing innovation systems that we develop here indicates the existence of two layers of innovation systems: a ‘central’ layer that hosts generic innovation systems and that constitutes the foundation for a second ‘surface' layer that hosts regional and sectoral innovation systems. We discuss the implications of layers of co-existing innovation systems for policy-makers and future research.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Building Biotech in Shanghai: A Perspective of Regional Innovation System

By : Fangzhu Zhang. European Planning Studies, Published online 22 Jan 2015.

Abstract: « This paper examines the development of biotech in Shanghai using the perspective of regional innovation system (RIS). Three important components of RIS, namely land, human capital and the regional system, are investigated. The development of these components has to be understood in the specific Chinese context. For the land, the role of Zhangjiang High-Tech Park Development Corporation is discussed with reference to the land development mechanism after the establishment of Chinese land markets. For human capital, the policy of the central and local governments in talent concentration is analysed. For the regional system, the spatial distribution of biotech in Shanghai is introduced to create interconnected innovation spaces in the metropolitan region. The paper enriches our understanding of RIS in the context of biotech development in Shanghai.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Does governmental venture capital spur invention and innovation? Evidence from young European biotech companies

By Fabio Bertoni and Tereza Tykvová. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 4, Pages 925–935, 2015.

Abstract: « This paper explores whether and how governmental venture capital investors (GVCs) spur invention and innovation in young biotech companies in Europe. To gauge invention we focus on the simple patent stock at the company level, while innovation is proxied by the citation-weighted patent stock. Our findings indicate that GVCs, as stand-alone investors, have no impact on invention and innovation. However, GVCs boost the impact of independent venture capital investors (IVCs) on both invention and innovation. We conclude that GVCs are an ineffective substitute, but an effective complement, of IVCs. We also distinguish between technology-oriented GVCs (TVCs) and development-oriented GVCs (DVCs). We find that DVCs are better at increasing firm’s inventions, and that TVCs, combined with IVCs, support innovations.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The Determinants of inward foreign direct investment : Evidence from the European Union

By José Villaverde and Adolfo Maza, International Business Review, volume 24, Issue 2, pages 209-223, 2015.

Abstract : « The aim of this paper is to study the determinants of FDI in the 260 EU NUTS2 regions between 2000 and 2006. After reviewing the relevant literature and the major traits of the FDI regional distribution in the EU, we analyse its drivers. First, we specify the model and perform a factor analysis to reduce the vast number of potential determinants to a manageable size. Afterwards, we estimate a reduced version of the model with the extracted factors as independent variables. We find that economic potential, labour market characteristics, technological progress and competitiveness exert a significant impact on FDI location patterns; in contrast, market size and labour regulation do not seem to play any noteworthy role. Finally, we perform some robustness tests to make sure the results are not sensitive to outliers, spatial dependence, size of regions, endogeneity and the consideration of just the top 50 FDI recipient regions“. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Handbook Of Research Methods And Applications In Economic Geography

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Therese Norman. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2015.

Abstract: « his Handbook provides an overview and assessment of the state-of-the-art research methods, approaches and applications central to economic geography.

Understanding spatial economic outcomes and the forces and mechanisms that influence the geography of economic growth is of utmost importance and demands substantial theoretical and empirical research in economic geography, spatial economics and regional science. Such research is critically dependent upon good and reliable empirical data, and it is here that this Handbook contributes, providing a broad overview of up-to-date research methods and approaches. The chapters are written by distinguished researchers from a variety of scholarly traditions and with a background in different academic disciplines including economics, economic human and cultural geography, and economic history.

Researchers and academics in economics and economic geography will find this a fundamental reference point and will benefit from the comprehensive assessment of research methods and approaches in the field. Practitioners and policy–makers will also find the practical applications to be of utmost value.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITORS]