25 August 2015

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

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


Identifying geographic clusters: A network analytic approach

By Roberto Catini, Dmytro Karamshuk, Orion Penner and Massimo Riccaboni. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 9, Pages 1749–1762, 2015.

Abstract: « In recent years there has been a growing interest in the role of networks and clusters in the global economy. Despite being a popular research topic in economics, sociology and urban studies, geographical clustering of human activity has often been studied by means of predetermined geographical units, such as administrative divisions and metropolitan areas. This approach is intrinsically time invariant and it does not allow one to differentiate between different activities. Our goal in this paper is to present a new methodology for identifying clusters, that can be applied to different empirical settings. We use a graph approach based on k-shell decomposition to analyze world biomedical research clusters based on PubMed scientific publications. We identify research institutions and locate their activities in geographical clusters. Leading areas of scientific production and their top performing research institutions are consistently identified at different geographic scales.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Dynamic patterns of industry convergence: Evidence from a large amount of unstructured data

By Namil Kim, Hyeokseong Lee, Wonjoon Kim, Hyunjong Lee and Jong Hwan Suh. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 9, Pages 1734–1748, 2015.

Abstract: « Because of the accelerated life cycle in technology and correspondingly rapid technological saturation in markets, firms are not only accelerating the rate of technological innovation but also expanding the scope of their products or services by combining product or service features of other markets, which eventually leads to industry convergence. However, despite the significant impact of industry convergence on the economy, our understanding of the phenomenon is still limited because previous studies explored only a few cases and come largely from the technological perspective. Therefore, it is still questionable whether industry convergence is a general phenomenon that is prevalent across entire industries. In this paper, we analyze the phenomenon in entire U.S. industries, focusing on its trends and patterns. To do so, we conduct a co-occurrence-based analysis of text mining for a large volume of unstructured data – 2 million newspaper articles from 1989 to 2012 – and suggest using an industry convergence (IC) index based on normalized pointwise mutual information (PMI). We find that overall industry convergence is increasing over time. Moreover, the rate of the increase has been greater within industry than between industries at a given industry level. However, when we cluster the dynamic patterns of industry convergence among industry pairs, the patterns are mixed, and, while some industry groups are converging over time, others are stationary. These findings suggest that significant transformation is under way in the economy, but this phenomenon is not yet prevalent across entire industries. In addition, this study provides a method for anticipating the future direction of industry convergence.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Perspectives on Cluster Evolution: Critical Review and Future Research Issues

By : Michaela Trippl, Markus Grillitsch, Arne Isaksen and Tanja Sinozic. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp. 2028-2044, 2015.

Abstract: « The past two decades have witnessed an ever-growing scholarly interest in regional clusters. The focus of research has mainly been on exploring why clusters exist and what characteristics “functioning” clusters possess. Although the interest in more dynamic views on clusters is not new, in recent years, however, greater attention has been paid to providing better explanations of how clusters change and develop over time, giving rise to an increasing popularity of the cluster life-cycle approach. This paper discusses the key ideas and arguments put forward by the main protagonists of this approach and identifies several missing elements, such as indifference to place-specific factors, neglect of multi-scalar impacts and underappreciation of the role of human agency. Based on this critical assessment, a number of suggestions for future research are made. We argue that there is a need to study the influence of the wider regional environment on cluster evolution and to explore how cluster development paths are influenced by a multiplicity of factors and processes at various spatial scales. Finally, it is claimed that future research should pay more attention to the role of human agents and the ways they shape the long-term development of regional clusters. We outline how future studies can tackle these issues.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Mapping digital businesses with big data: Some early findings from the UK

By Max Nathan and Anna Rosso. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 9, Pages 1714–1733, 2015.

Abstract: « Governments around the world want to develop their ICT industries. Researchers and policymakers thus need a clear picture of digital businesses, but conventional datasets and typologies tend to lag real-world change. We use innovative ‘big data’ resources to perform an alternative analysis for all active companies in the UK, focusing on ICT-producing firms. Exploiting a combination of observed and modelled variables, we develop a novel ‘sector-product’ approach and use text mining to provide further detail on key sector-product cells. We find that the ICT production space is around 42% larger than SIC-based estimates, with around 70,000 more companies. We also find ICT employment shares over double the conventional estimates, although this result is more speculative. Our findings are robust to various scope, selection and sample construction challenges. We use our experiences to reflect on the broader pros and cons of frontier data use.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Tracking the internationalization of multinational corporate inventive activity: national and sectoral characteristics

By Floortje Alkemade, Gaston Heimeriks, Antoine Schoen, Lionel Villard and Patricia Laurens. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 9, Pages 1763–1772, 2015.

Abstract: « This paper introduces a unique database, the Corporate Invention Board (CIB). The CIB combines patent data from the PATSTAT database with financial data from the ORBIS database about the 2289 companies with the largest R&D investments. We illustrate the database by showing a comprehensive overview of national and sectoral patterns of R&D internationalization by multinational corporations in the period 1993–2005. The results show heterogeneity in sectoral and national patterns of internationalization. These patterns have remained relatively stable over the 1993–2005 period. China is among the least internationalized countries and European countries, especially the UK and the Netherlands, are among the most internationalized countries. The largest countries in terms of patent production, such as Germany and the US, have internationalization profiles that can be very well predicted based upon their sectoral composition. Other country profiles, however, diverge significantly from the prediction based on sectoral profile. Asian countries are on average less internationalized than would be expected, whereas the European countries and Canada are more internationalized. We find that while national level indicators explain a large part of the variance observed in the ability of countries to attract R&D from foreign multinationals, there are significant differences between sectors and this has large implications for the design of foreign R&D and innovation policies. The CIB opens up a wide array of opportunities to study the internationalization strategies of firms and countries.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Triangulating regional economies: Realizing the promise of digital data

By Maryann Feldman and Nichola Lowe. Research Policy, Volume 44, Issue 9, Pages 1785–1793, 2015.

Abstract: « Innovative data sources offer new ways of studying spatial and temporal industrial and regional development. Our approach is to study the development of an entrepreneurial regional economy through a comprehensive analysis of its constituent firms and institutions over time. Our study region is defined by the location of large multinationals recruited to North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park and the adjacent area. We have built a database of 4200 technology-intensive entrepreneurial firms that draws on over 30 distinct data sources and includes details on company founders, annual firm employment and engagement with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. By outlining our approach in this paper, our primary objective is to create a transferable framework for analyzing regional dynamics in other locations.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Productivity Spillovers from Foreign Multinational Enterprises to Domestic Manufacturing Firms: To What Extent Does Spatial Proximity Matter?

By : Sergio Mariotti, Marco Mutinelli, Marcella Nicolini and Lucia Piscitello. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 10, 2015.

Abstract: « This paper analyses the role of spatial proximity in productivity spillovers from foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs). Using a database of foreign affiliates located in Italy from 1999 to 2005, it is shown that local firms benefit from the presence of MNEs through both backward and forward linkages. It is found that: (1) spillover effects are more strongly associated with MNEs in knowledge-intensive business services and utilities; and (2) co-location positively affects productivity spillovers, and the effect is stronger for foreign affiliates that are distantly located. This is especially true in the service sector due to the role of temporary spatial proximity and other dimensions of proximity.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Substitution or Overlap? The Relations between Geographical and Non-spatial Proximity Dimensions in Collaborative Innovation Projects

By : Teis Hansen. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 10, 2015.

Abstract: « Traditionally, economic geographers stress geographical proximity's positive impact on collaboration processes. However, effects of cognitive, organizational, social and institutional proximity dimensions have been emphasized recently. This paper examines the relations between geography and these non-spatial dimensions by distinguishing two mechanisms: the substitution mechanism, where non-spatial forms of proximity substitute for geographical proximity; and the overlap mechanism, where geographical proximity facilitates non-spatial proximity. The two mechanisms’ importance is analysed in collaborative innovation projects in the Danish cleantech industry. Regression models are complemented by a qualitative analysis of the relationship between the geographical and institutional dimensions.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Embeddedness of European Regions in European Union-Funded Research and Development (R&D) Networks: A Spatial Econometric Perspective

By : Iris Wanzenböck, Thomas Scherngell and Rafael Lata. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 10, 2015.

Abstract: « This study focuses on the embeddedness of regions in research and development (R&D) networks within European Union Framework Programmes by estimating how distinct regional factors affect a region's network positioning. Graph theoretic centrality measures in terms of betweenness and eigenvector centrality are calculated at the organizational level to reflect the relevant network structure before aggregation to the region level. Panel spatial Durbin error models (SDEM) reveal that region-internal knowledge production capacities, a region's level of economic development as well as spatial spillovers are important determinants for a region's positioning in the European Union-funded R&D network, but their significance differs depending on the centrality concept.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Economic Growth and Regional Disparities in Slovenia

By : Biswajit Banerjee and Manca Jesenko. Regional Studies, Volume 49, Issue 10, 2015.

Abstract: « Regional disparities in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and labour utilization have widened in Slovenia since 1999. However, regional gaps in per capita household disposable income have declined because of higher social transfers to the poorest regions, inter-regional commuting and other factors. Econometric analysis shows that there is heterogeneity in steady-states across regions, and regional growth in per capita GDP and labour productivity are converging to these region-specific steady-states. Time-series approach to convergence confirms stochastic trend convergence in both indicators for several regions. Labour productivity growth has been driven by capital deepening and growing importance of total factor productivity (TFP) improvement.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Enterprise- and Industry-Level Drivers of Cluster Evolution and Their Outcomes for Clusters from Developed and Less-Developed Countries

By : Marta Gancarczyk. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp. 1932-1952, 2015.

Abstract: « This article aims to discuss the international strategies of lead companies and the modularization of production networks as drivers of cluster evolution in developed countries, and to formulate propositions regarding the impact of those drivers on relationships with clusters in less-developed countries, based on literature reviews. Three streams of literature were combined, namely, that on (1) the role of lead companies in the development of industrial agglomerations, (2) the life cycle and evolution of clusters, founded on evolutionary economic geography and (3) the possibilities of upgrading by suppliers from less-developed countries. The article contributes by proposing a conceptual model that covers internal cluster evolution and the evolution of inter-cluster relationships globally to inform business and policy choices. Moreover, the research gap is addressed to study how the cluster dynamics in developed countries affect the upgrading opportunities for clusters in less-developed countries. The theoretical input consists in using the constructs of knowledge exploration and exploitation as mechanisms that determine cluster development prospects. Cluster development perspectives are shown as determined by those clusters' capacity to jointly pursue knowledge exploration and exploitation activities.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Creative Cluster Evolution: The Case of the Film and TV Industries in Seoul, South Korea

By : Su-Hyun Berg. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp. 1993-2008, 2015.

Abstract: « Can the concept of co-evolution help to analyse and explain the dynamics of creative industries? This article tackles the question by investigating the film and TV cluster in Seoul, South Korea. The analysis of the 35 semi-structured interviews confirms the dynamics of the film and TV industries in Korea. First, Hallyu began with the export of Korean TV drama series across East Asia. The state deregulation and neo-liberal reforms during the 1990s in Korea boosted an explosion of the export of the Korean film and TV industry. Second, the core of the film and TV production is concentrated within Seoul, while dispersion of those industries occurred in Gyeong-gi province. Third, from an institutional perspective, tensions between the central government and the film and TV industry can be observed, which have been intensifying since 2006. This paper concludes that particularly co-evolution could potentially be an important concept to explain and analyse dynamics in creative industries.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Adaptation and Change in Creative Clusters: Findings from Vienna's New Media Sector

By : Tanja Sinozic and Franz Tödtling. European Planning Studies, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp. 1975-1992, 2015.

Abstract: « This paper investigates some of the features of technological heterogeneity in the New Media cluster in Vienna and the local and global factors that have shaped territorial learning conditions over time. Technological heterogeneity is given a central role in cluster evolution for the expansion of local capacities and opportunities for change. In this paper, it is argued that technological heterogeneity is an important but insufficient motor for cluster evolution. Rather, what is required are local technological capabilities and learning conditions for the exploitation of technologies for operations and procedures that are relevant for firm and cluster performance, as posited by evolutionary theories of technical change. These perspectives are used to interpret the complex, variegated and partially unpredictable features of technological heterogeneity in the New Media cluster in Vienna, revealing the importance of the capabilities embodied in people and local conditions of managing uncertainty mediated via heterogeneity in products, processes and client needs. For this sector, conditions of technological instability create increasing importance for local learning and networks if clusters are to be propelled more deeply into existent or more radically into novel specializations.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Concise Guide to Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation

Edited by Albert N. Link and Christopher S. Hayter. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2015.

Abstract: «The Concise Guide to Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation brings together internationally recognized scholars to summarize the state of knowledge about fundamental topics in entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation.

Written by the top international scholars in their field, this book has an encyclopaedic range; from academic entrepreneurship to valuing an entrepreneurial enterprise. Each chapter provides an informed overview of the topic and references in each chapter guide the reader to the more advanced literature

This landmark book will be the first port of call for any student or scholar seeking a brief introduction to each of the fundamental topics in entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITORS]