nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2015‒07‒04
eight papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Functional Economic Regions, Accessibility and Regional Development By Karlsson , Charlie; Olsson, Michael
  2. Determinants of Industrial Coagglomeration and Establishment-level Productivity By FUJII Daisuke; NAKAJIMA Kentaro; SAITO Yukiko
  3. Gold mining and proto-urbanization : recent evidence from Ghana By Fafchamps,Marcel; Koelle,Michael Rene; Shilpi,Forhad J.
  4. Hukou and highways : the impact of China?s spatial development policies on urbanization and regional inequality By Bosker,Maarten; Deichmann,Uwe; Roberts,Mark
  5. Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930 By Crafts, Nicholas; Klein, Alexander
  6. Internationalization Of Regional Clusters: Theoretical And Empirical Issues By Ekaterina Islankina
  7. Local innovation and global value chains in developing countries By De Marchi V.; Giuliani E.; Rabellotti R.
  8. Entrepreneurial Regions: Do Macro-psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions help solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics? By Obschonka, Martin; Stuetzer, Michael; Gosling, Samuel D.; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Lamb, Michael E.; Potter, Jeff; Audretsch, David B.

  1. By: Karlsson , Charlie (Centre of Excellence in Science (CESIS), Jönköping International Business School, Blekinge In-stitute of Technology, & University of Southern Denmark.); Olsson, Michael (EFF, & University of Skövde)
    Abstract: In this paper, we first present how one can create functional economic regions. Then, we elaborate on the economic activity and spatial interaction, which forms functional regions, and the development of the system of functional regions. Our presentation shows that the economy is structured in functional regions, and hence it is important to use functional regions in economic studies, in order to produce correct results, and for regional policy, in order for the policy to be effective. We observe, that the often used NUTS-regions are very large compared to the functional regions. We argue, therefore, that the use of NUTS-regions ought to be replaced by the use of functional regions. This would lead to more reliable results and better policy outcomes.
    Keywords: Functional economic region; accessibility; infrastructure; network; regional policy; Europe
    JEL: R23 R32 R40 R58
    Date: 2015–06–29
  2. By: FUJII Daisuke; NAKAJIMA Kentaro; SAITO Yukiko
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships between the determinants of industrial coagglomeration and establishment-level productivity. For each pair of industries, we first construct the degree of coagglomeration and indices for three factors of coagglomeration: inter-firm transactions, knowledge spillover, and labor market pooling. We then examine the correlation between these three factors and the degree of coagglomeration. Overall, inter-firm transactions and labor market pooling are positively correlated with the degree of coagglomeration whereas knowledge spillover has no significant relationship with it. We also find that the determinants of coagglomeration are quite different across industries. Further, we examine the relationships between these factors and establishment-level productivity. We find that the determinants of coagglomeration are not necessarily positively associated with the productivity of establishments.
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Fafchamps,Marcel; Koelle,Michael Rene; Shilpi,Forhad J.
    Abstract: Central place theory predicts that agglomeration can arise from external shocks. This paper investigates whether gold mining is a catalyst for proto-urbanization in rural Ghana. Using cross-sectional data, the analysis finds that locations within 10 kilometers from gold mines have more night light and proportionally higher employment in industry and services and in the wage sector. Non-farm employment decreases at 20?30 kilometers distance to gold mines. These findings are consistent with agglomeration effects that induce non-farm activities to coalesce in one particular location. This paper finds that, over time, an increase in gold production is associated with more wage employment and apprenticeship, and fewer people employed in private informal enterprises. It also finds that the changes arising from increasing gold production are not reversed when large gold mines shrink. However this pattern cannot be ascribed unambiguously to agglomeration effects, given an increase in informal mining after formal mines decrease output is also observed.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Population Policies,Mining&Extractive Industry (Non-Energy),Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases
    Date: 2015–06–30
  4. By: Bosker,Maarten; Deichmann,Uwe; Roberts,Mark
    Abstract: China has used two main spatial policies to shape its geographic patterns of development: restricted labor mobility through the Hukou residential registration system and massive infrastructure investment, notably a 96,000 kilometer national expressway network. This paper develops a structural new economic geography model to examine the impacts of these policies. Fitting the model to available data allows simulating counterfactual scenarios comparing each policy?s respective impact on regional economic development and urbanization patterns across China. The results suggest large overall economic benefits from constructing the national expressway network and abolishing the Hukou system. Yet, the spatial impacts of the two policies are very different. The construction of the national expressway network reinforced existing urbanization patterns. The initially lagging regions not connected to the network have not benefitted much from its construction. By contrast, removal of the Hukou restrictions, which Chinese policy makers are considering, would result in much more widespread welfare gains, allowing everyone to gain by moving to where he or sheis most productive. Removal of the Hukou restrictions would also promote urbanization in currently lagging (inland) regions, mostly by stimulating rural to urban migration.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,National Urban Development Policies&Strategies,Economic Theory&Research,Population Policies,Labor Policies
    Date: 2015–06–30
  5. By: Crafts, Nicholas; Klein, Alexander
    Abstract: We investigate the role of industrial structure in productivity growth in U.S. cities between 1880 and 1930 using a new dataset constructed from the Census of Manufactures. We find that increases in specialization were associated with faster productivity growth but that diversity only had positive effects on productivity performance in large cities. We interpret our results as providing strong support for the importance of Marshallian externalities. Industrial specialization increased considerably in U.S. cities in the early 20th century, probably as a result of improved transportation, and we estimate that this resulted in significant gains in labor productivity
    Keywords: agglomeration economies; industrial structure; Jacobian externalities; manufacturing productivity; Marshallian externalities
    JEL: N91 N92 R32
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Ekaterina Islankina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Today regions are becoming independent actors able to compete globally as globalization of competition is consistent with the localization of competitive advantage. In many ways regional competitiveness is based on the clustering concept. Changes in the global economic environment are making cluster linkages more important, too. Clusters are not capable of long-term excellence and development unless their members are acting in global markets and involved in international knowledge transfer. Thus, internationalization of clusters has turned out to be a new subject of innovation policy and regional development agenda, however lacking strong scientific background in Russia. The paper aims at discovering theoretical and analytical basis for clustering concept and internationalization, the reviewing of best internationalization practices from the clusters worldwide as well as exploring empirical issues of regional clusters` internationalization in Russia and their comparison with the EU outputs. A special emphasis is put on the articulation of practical guide for cluster management organizations responsible for the development of global linkages.
    Keywords: regional development, innovative clusters, internationalization, Russia, the EU
    JEL: F20 O O19 O57 R58
    Date: 2015
  7. By: De Marchi V.; Giuliani E.; Rabellotti R. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: The GVC approach has stressed that inter-firm linkages within GVCs can play a crucial role in transferring technological knowledge and promoting innovation. However, the exact nature of these GVC inter-firms relationships, and their impact on the learning and innovative processes of firms involved in such GVCs in developing countries is still controversial and rather understudied. In this paper we argue that to investigate whether and how firms involved in GVCs as well as industrial clusters, regions and countries innovate, scholars should not focus entirely on GVC characteristics and the role of lead firms, but they also should take into account domestic technological capabilities at the firm, industrial cluster/regional and local innovation system-levels. In this study we undertake a systematic review of the literature on GVCs in developing countries to investigate if and how innovation has been undertaken at the local level. With cluster analysis, we have identified three types of GVCs, defined as a GVC-led Innovators, consisting of innovative local firms, which intensively use knowledge sources from within the GVC; b Independent Innovators also consisting of innovative firms, but whose learning sources mainly come from outside the GVC; c Weak Innovators, including a large group of scarcely innovative firms, drawing selectively on some of the knowledge sources available within the GVC but poorly using other forms of learning.
    Keywords: Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology; International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations; Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes; Technological Change: Government Policy;
    JEL: O14 O19 O33 O38
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Obschonka, Martin; Stuetzer, Michael; Gosling, Samuel D.; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Lamb, Michael E.; Potter, Jeff; Audretsch, David B.
    Abstract: In recent years, modern economies have shifted away from being based on physical capital and towards being based on new knowledge (e.g., new ideas and inventions). Consequently, contemporary economic theorizing and key public policies have been based on the assumption that resources for generating knowledge (e.g., education, diversity of industries) are essential for regional economic vitality. However, policy makers and scholars have discovered that, contrary to expectations, the mere presence of, and investments in, new knowledge does not guarantee a high level of regional economic performance (e.g., high entrepreneurship rates). To date, this “knowledge paradox” has resisted resolution. We take an interdisciplinary perspective to offer a new explanation, hypothesizing that “hidden” regional culture differences serve as a crucial factor that is missing from conventional economic analyses and public policy strategies. Focusing on entrepreneurial activity, we hypothesize that the statistical relation between knowledge resources and entrepreneurial vitality (i.e., high entrepreneurship rates) in a region will depend on “hidden” regional differences in entrepreneurial culture. To capture such “hidden” regional differences, we derive measures of entrepreneurship-prone culture from two large personality datasets from the United States (N = 935,858) and Great Britain (N = 417,217). In both countries, the findings were consistent with the knowledge-culture-interaction hypothesis. A series of nine additional robustness checks underscored the robustness of these results. Naturally, these purely correlational findings cannot provide direct evidence for causal processes, but the results nonetheless yield a remarkably consistent and robust picture in the two countries. In doing so, the findings raise the idea of regional culture serving as a new causal candidate, potentially driving the knowledge paradox; such an explanation would be consistent with research on the psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: Innovation; Personality; Knowledge; Culture; Entrepreneurship; Psychology; Regions; Cities
    JEL: L26 M13 O3
    Date: 2015–06

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