nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2010‒02‒13
nine papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Research Networks and Inventors’ Mobility as Drivers of Innovation: Evidence from Europe By Ernest Miguelez; Rosina Moreno
  2. Selling the ivory tower and regional development: Technology transfer offices as mediators of university-industry linkages By Reiner, Christian
  3. Spatial and Temporal Diffusion of House Prices in the UK By Holly, Sean; Pesaran, Hashem; Yamagata, Takashi
  4. Regional Inflation Persistence: Evidence from Italy By Guido Ascari; Andrea Vaona
  5. Are Hispanic Immigrant Families Reviving the Economies of America's Small Towns? By Coates, Dennis; Gindling, T. H.
  6. Agglomeration Premium and Trading Activity of Firms By Gábor Békés; Péter Harasztosi
  7. Industrial structure, trade and regional economics : market segmentation By Vito Amendolagine; Gabriel Talmain
  8. Geographical distance of innovation collaborations By Jeroen de Jong; Mark Freel
  9. Local authorities and the downturn: a review of issues, experience and options. By Gordon, Ian; Travers, Tony; Whitehead, Christine M. E.

  1. By: Ernest Miguelez (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: TWe investigate the importance of the labour mobility of inventors, as well as the scale, extent and density of their collaborative research networks, for regional innovation outcomes. To do so, we apply a knowledge production function framework at the regional level and include inventors’ networks and their labour mobility as regressors. Our empirical approach takes full account of spatial interactions by estimating a spatial lag model together, where necessary, with a spatial error model. In addition, standard errors are calculated using spatial heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent estimators to ensure their robustness in the presence of spatial error autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity of unknown form. Our results point to the existence of a robust positive correlation between intra-regional labour mobility and regional innovation, whilst the relationship with networks is less clear. However, networking across regions positively correlates with a region’s innovation intensity.
    Keywords: Speed Limits; inventors’ mobility, networks of co-inventors, knowledge production function, spatial econometrics, European regions
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Reiner, Christian (University of Salzburg)
    Abstract: This article focuses on the role of Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) in regional development in three Austrian regions that represent different types of regional economies. TTOs can be defined as “bridging institutions” between academia and business. The value added by this approach emerges due to empirical results demonstrating that the variety of TTO functions and their respective spatial-profile of activities depend heavily on the regional context. Regional economic structure and regional policy systematically shape the spatial profile of TTO activities. The distinction between active and passive TTOs emerged as an important one regarding their potential regional economic development impact. While passive TTOs merely facilitate already existing contacts of the academic staff, active TTOs generate new university-industry linkages. These additionally created contacts are heavily biased towards the regional level. Intellectual property rights (IPR)-related TTO activities show a rather weak regional impact. This might prove problematic for policy makers that foster the patent-oriented commercialization of knowledge as a means to intensify knowledge spillovers from the universities to regional or national firms.
    Keywords: Universities; Technology transfer offices; regional innovation systems; regional policy; Austria
    JEL: I23 I28 O33 O34 R11 R58
    Date: 2010–02–01
  3. By: Holly, Sean (University of Cambridge); Pesaran, Hashem (University of Cambridge); Yamagata, Takashi (University of York)
    Abstract: This paper provides a method for the analysis of the spatial and temporal diffusion of shocks in a dynamic system. We use changes in real house prices within the UK economy at the level of regions to illustrate its use. Adjustment to shocks involves both a region specific and a spatial effect. Shocks to a dominant region – London – are propagated contemporaneously and spatially to other regions. They in turn impact on other regions with a delay. We allow for lagged effects to echo back to the dominant region. London in turn is influenced by international developments through its link to New York and other financial centers. It is shown that New York house prices have a direct effect on London house prices. We analyse the effect of shocks using generalised spatio-temporal impulse responses. These highlight the diffusion of shocks both over time (as with the conventional impulse responses) and over space.
    Keywords: house prices, cross sectional dependence, spatial dependence
    JEL: C21 C23
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Guido Ascari (Università di Pavia); Andrea Vaona (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: Regional patterns of inflation persistence have received attention only at a very coarse level of territorial disaggregation, that of EMU member states. However economic disparities within EMU member states are an equally important policy issue. This paper considers a country with a large regional divide, i.e., Italy, at a fine level of territorial disaggregation (NUTS3). Our results show that economically backward regions display greater inflation persistence. Moreover, we show that higher persistence is linked to a lower degree of competitiveness in the retail sector. Finally, the inflation persistence at the national level does not present any geographical aggregation bias, because it equals the mean of inflation persistence of provincial data.
    Keywords: inflation persistence, retail sector, regions
    JEL: E0 E30 R0 R10
    Date: 2010–02
  5. By: Coates, Dennis (University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Gindling, T. H. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
    Abstract: In the 1990s, rural areas and small towns in the United States, which had been losing population, became the destinations for an increasing number of Hispanic immigrants and their families, slowing and in some cases reversing population declines. In this paper, we examine whether faster growth in the Hispanic population is linked to faster growth in income per capita in rural areas and small towns. Our results indicate strong support for the hypothesis that Hispanic population growth has fueled increased economic growth in those small, rural communities whose populations had been in decline during the 1970s and 1980s.
    Keywords: regional economic growth, Hispanics, migration
    JEL: R11 R23 O4
    Date: 2010–01
  6. By: Gábor Békés; Péter Harasztosi
    Abstract: Firms may benefit from proximity to each other due to the existence of several externalities. The productivity premia of firms located in agglomerated regions can be attributed to savings and gains from external economies. However, the capacity to absorb information may depend on activities of the firm, such as involvement in international trade. Importers, exporters and two-way traders are likely to employ a different bundle of resources and be organised differently so that they would appreciate inputs and information from other firms in a different fashion and intensity. Getting a better understanding of such external economies by looking at various types of firms is the focus of present paper. Using Hungarian manufacturing data from 1992-2003, we confirm that firms perform better in agglomerated areas and show that traders gain more in terms of productivity than non-traders when agglomeration rises. Firms that are stable participants of international trade gain 16 % in terms of total factor productivity growth as agglomeration doubles while non-traders may not benefit from agglomeration at all. Results also suggest that traders' productivity premium is most apparent in urbanised economies.
    Date: 2010–01–28
  7. By: Vito Amendolagine; Gabriel Talmain
    Abstract: TWe consider a general equilibrium model a la Bhaskar (Review of Economic Studies 2002): there are complementarities across sectors, each of which com- prise (many) heterogenous monopolistically competitive …rms. Bhaskars model is extended in two directions: production requires capital, and labour markets are segmented. Labour market segmentation models the difficulties of labour migrating across international barriers (in a trade context) or from a poor region to a richer one (in a regional context), whilst the assumption of a single cap- ital market means that capital flows freely between countries or regions. The model is solved analytically and a closed form solution is provided. Adding labour market segmentation to Bhaskar's two-tier industrial structure allows us to study, inter alia, the impact of competition regulations on wages and financial flows both in the regional and international context, and the output, welfare and financial implications of relaxing immigration laws. The analytical approach adopted allows us, not only to sign the effect of policies, but also to quantify their e¤ects. Introducing capital as a factor of production improves the realism of the model and refines its empirically testable implications.
    Keywords: market segmentation, monopolistic competition, industry competition, regional competition, capital flows
    JEL: F22 L11 F16 R13
    Date: 2010–01
  8. By: Jeroen de Jong; Mark Freel
    Abstract: This paper explores the geographical distance of innovation collaborations in high tech small firms. We test if absorptive capacity is a key determinant. Drawing on survey data from a sample of 316 Dutch high-tech small firms, engaging in 1.245 collaborations, we find most partners to be ‘local’. However, controlling for a variety of potential influences, higher R&D expenditure is positively related to collaboration with more distant organisations.  
    Date: 2010–02–01
  9. By: Gordon, Ian; Travers, Tony; Whitehead, Christine M. E.
    Abstract: This report considers the potential/appropriate role for local authorities (LAs) in relation to the downturn phase of the current recession. It focuses on the most valuable functions which they can fulfil in this context, and takes a cautious view about the potential for extending any boost to local authority activity beyond this phase. It offers a rapid survey of roles, opportunities and constraints, drawing both on general principles (grounded in economic analysis) and an appreciation of practical experience. It proceeds from a brief review/comparison of the experience of the last two recessions, via a typology of potentially relevant LA roles in the present one, to a set of general issues that need to be addressed in considering what they should/could appropriately do in this situation. It then focuses on two more specific issues. The first is the significance of financial and other constraints for what LAs are likely/able to do. The second addresses LAs’ role in the field of housing market/financial issues, which is identified as the one where their contribution can be most crucial. Key conclusions are that: local government can do very little without active central government support and cannot substitute for it in raising general demand; local expenditure will need rebalancing to meet shifting needs within constrained levels of overall activity; LAs’ most positive/appropriate role is to mitigate effects (on assets and vulnerable people) and relieve specific market/government failures; the emphasis should be on short term gains, rather than pursuing unrealistic development initiatives, though nothing should be done in the name of that is not long term viable/desirable; incentivising the private sector is crucial, since they will have to take the strain in the end; LAs should avoid area discrimination, by ‘shielding’ people and assets, rather than protecting places.
    Date: 2009–06

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