nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2007‒09‒16
nine papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Penetrating the Knowledge Filter in the Rust Belt By Zoltan Acs; Lawrence A. Plummer; Ryan Sutter
  2. Gatekeepers in regional networks of innovators By Holger Graf
  3. Spatial Agglomeration, Technology and Outsourcing of Knowledge Intensive Business Services Empirical Insights from Italy By Roberto Antonietti; Giulio Cainelli
  4. Organisational and spatial determinants of the multi-unit firm: Evidence from the French industry By Danielle GALLIANO (LEREPS–GRES & INRA–ESR); Olivier SOULIE (LEREPS-GRES & INRA–ESR)
  5. Co-evolution of firms, industries and networks in space By Anne ter Wal; Ron A. Boschma
  6. Silicon Valley in the Polder? Entrepreneurial Dynamics, Virtuous Clusters and Vicious Firms in the Netherlands and Flanders By Hulsink, W.; Bouwman, H.; Elfring, T.
  7. Vertical industry relations, spillovers and productivity: Evidence from Chilean plants By Ricardo Lopez; Jens Suedekum
  8. Analysing Convergence through the Distribution Dynamics Approach: Why and how? By Stefano Magrini
  9. Demanda laboral industrial en el área metropolitana de Cali: un análisis entre 1995 y 2001 By Castillo Caicedo, Maribel

  1. By: Zoltan Acs (George Mason University); Lawrence A. Plummer (Clemson University); Ryan Sutter (George Mason University)
    Abstract: A new model of economic growth introduces the knowledge filter between new knowledge and economically useful knowledge. It identifies both new ventures and incumbent firms as the mechanisms that penetrate the knowledge filter. Recent empirical work has shown that new firms are more proficient at penetrating the knowledge filter than are incumbent firms; however, the analysis has only examined expanding economies and has relied on purely cross-sectional regression methodologies. This study explores the role of new and incumbent firms in penetrating the knowledge filter utilizing recent developments in spatial panel estimation techniques to provide a more robust set of findings. The results suggest those new firms are more proficient at penetrating the knowledge filter in declining and growing regions alike.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Regional Growth, Endogenous Growth
    JEL: L26 O1 O18 O3 R1
    Date: 2007–09–12
  2. By: Holger Graf (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: The internal density of a local network is said to increase the region-specific knowledge-stock and might lead to a comparative advantage. However, it might also lead to a lock-in situation, if local trajectories are directed towards inferior solutions. Accordingly it is argued that successful clusters are characterised by the existence of gatekeepers, i.e. actors that generate novelty by drawing on local and external knowledge. We attempt to answer questions related to the role and characteristics of gatekeepers within regional innovation systems by applying social network analysis based on patent data for four East-German regions. The regional networks appear to be significantly different with respect to the overall degree of interaction and with respect to their relative outward orienta- tion. Concerning the characteristics of gatekeepers, we find that size does not play the major role for being a gatekeeper. It is rather absorptive capacity that matters for gatekeepers. It also shows that public research organisations serve the functions of a gatekeeper to a higher degree than private actors.
    Keywords: Innovator networks; Gatekeeper; R+D co-operation; Scientist mobility
    JEL: O31 Z13 R11
    Date: 2007–09–10
  3. By: Roberto Antonietti (University of Bologna); Giulio Cainelli (University of Bari and CERIS-CNR)
    Abstract: Aim of this paper is to explore the main drivers of outsourcing of knowledge intensive business services by Italian manufacturing firms. While anecdotal and empirical evidence has emphasized labour cost and scale economies as behind firms’ choices to outsource production or service activities, here we focus on spatial agglomeration and technology as important factors. Using microeconomic data on a repeated cross-section of Italian manufacturing firms for the period 1998-2003, we develop a two-stage model in order to avoid selection bias: first, we estimate the determinants of the firm's decision to outsource business-related services; second, we estimate the main factors underlying the intensity and complexity of KIBS outsourcing, expressed by the number of service activities that are externalized. Our results show that labour cost-savings are not relevant in driving the decision to outsource KIBS, but ICT, R&D and location within a dense and technologically developed industrial district have very positive effects.
    Keywords: KIBS, Service Outsourcing, R&D, ICT, Spatial Agglomeration
    JEL: L24 L84 R32 R12
    Date: 2007–07
    Abstract: This article aims to analyse the factors that determine the existence of multi-unit firms and that influence the intensity of their organisational fragmentation. More precisely, we identify the firm’s internal characteristics and their spatial, sectoral and competitive environments that are conducive (or not) to the adoption of a multi-unit form of organisation. We test these hypotheses by using a two stage Heckman type model (1979). This model allows us to take into account the determinants of the organisational choice in the intensity of multi-location. Beyond the general model, we seek to highlight that the logics differ according to the location of the firm’s head office (urban, peri-urban or rural) and according to the firm’s industrial profile (horizontal or vertical). These empirical models are based on individual data on all French industrial firms, derived from the annual survey on firms and their establishments conducted by the French National Institute of Statistics (INSEE). One of our main results is to reveal the role of this complex interaction between industrial and spatial dynamics in organisational choices.
    Keywords: Multi-unit firm, Firm location, Organisation of the firm, French industry
    JEL: L2 L6 R3 O18
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Anne ter Wal; Ron A. Boschma
    Abstract: The cluster literature suffers from a number of shortcomings: (1) by and large, cluster studies do not take into account that firms in a cluster are heterogeneous in terms of capabilities; (2) cluster studies tend to overemphasize the importance of place and geographical proximity and underestimate the role of networks which are, by definition, a-spatial entities; (3) most, if not all cluster studies have a static nature, and do not address questions like the origins and evolution of clusters. Our aim is to overcome these shortcomings and propose a theoretical framework on the evolution of clusters. Bringing together bodies of literature on clusters, industrial dynamics, the evolutionary theory of the firm and network theory, we describe how clusters co-evolve with: (1) the industry they adhere to; (2) the (dynamic) capabilities of the firms they contain; and (3) the industry-wide knowledge network they are part of. Based on this framework, we believe the analysis of cluster evolution provides a promising research agenda in evolutionary economic geography for the years to come.
    Keywords: cluster evolution, network dynamics, industrial dynamics, co-evolution, evolutionary economic geography
    Date: 2007–08
  6. By: Hulsink, W.; Bouwman, H.; Elfring, T. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: High-technology starters do not operate in a vacuum and innovation is not a solitary activity. The activities of technology-based firms are embedded in socio-economic networks with other companies, investors, universities, vocational institutions, etc. The geographical proximity of those institutions and infrastructural hubs will partly play a role in determine the location of ICT firms decision. Furthermore, many high-tech companies shape clusters around areas where their major customers are located. The topic of this paper is regional clustering Enright, 1992; Rosenfeld, 1997within the context of Internet and ICT technology. A dynamic model previously developed for the analysis of ICT-entrepreneurship and networking will be applied to make a critical analysis of five ICT-clusters in the Netherlands and Flanders (Northern part of Belgium): the Louvain Technology Corridor, Flanders Language Valley, Amsterdam Alley, Dommel Valley, and Twente.
    Keywords: clusters;high-tech entrepreneurship;networks;Netherlands;Flanders;ICT;
    Date: 2007–07–24
  7. By: Ricardo Lopez (Indiana University Bloomington); Jens Suedekum (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: We use disaggregated data on Chilean plants, and the Chilean input-output table to examine the impact of agglomeration spillovers on total factor productivity (TFP). In common with previous studies, we find evidence of intra-industry spillovers, but no evidence of cross-industry spillovers in general. This picture changes, however, when we take vertical industry relations into account. We find important productivity spillover effects from plants in upstream industries. Interestingly, a similar effect cannot be found from plants in downstream industries. The number of plants in these sectors has no effect on firm level TFP, just as the number of plants in other industries that are neither important upstream suppliers nor downstream customers also has no effect. Agglomeration effects are stronger for small than for large plants.
    Keywords: Vertical linkages, agglomeration, productivity, Chile
    JEL: R11 R15 O18 O54
    Date: 2007–09
  8. By: Stefano Magrini (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: The convergence hypothesis has stimulated a heated debate within the growth literature. The present paper compares the two most commonly adopted empirical approaches, the regression approach and the distribution dynamics approach, and argues that the former fails to uncover important features of the dynamics that might characterise the convergence process. Next, it provides an in depth description of the features and underlying assumptions of the distribution dynamics approach as well as a detailed discussion of some important aspects related to the estimate of stochastic kernels via kernel density estimators. Finally, the empirical section allows to emphasises the interpretational advantages stemming from the use of stochastic kernels to capture the evolution of the entire cross-sectional income distribution. Incidentally, through a comparison between the results obtained from alternative sets of Italian regions, it suggest that the use of administrative regions could lead to ambiguous results.
    Keywords: Distribution Dynamics, Stochastic Kernel, Kernel Density Estimation, beta-convergence, Regions
    JEL: C14 C20 O40 O52 R10
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Castillo Caicedo, Maribel
    Date: 2006–09–05

This nep-geo issue is ©2007 by Vassilis Monastiriotis. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.