nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2016‒03‒06
thirteen papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Explaining regional economic performance: the role of competitiveness, specialization and capabilities By Fagerberg , Jan; Srholec , Martin
  2. The impact of local infrastructure on new business establishments By McCoy, Daire; Lyons, Sean; Morgenroth, Edgar; Palcic, Donal; Allen, Leonie
  3. Agglomerations in a Multi-region Economy: Polycentric versus monocentric patterns By AKAMATSU Takashi; MORI Tomoya; TAKAYAMA Yuki
  4. Space-time patterns of rank concordance: Local indicators of mobility association with application to spatial income inequality dynamics By Rey, Sergio
  5. Politics and investment: examining the territorial allocation of public investment in Greece By Psycharis, Yannis; Rodriguez-Pose, Andres; Tselios, Vassilis
  6. Economic Clusters Research: An Annotated Bibliography By Jing Chen; Randall Jackson
  7. Clusters and collective learning networks: the case of the Competitiveness Cluster ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region By Christian Longhi
  8. Do Earnings by College Major Affect Graduate Migration? By John V. Winters
  9. Universities as engines for regional growth? Using the synthetic control method to analyze the effects of research universities By Carl Bonander; Niklas Jakobsson; Federico Podestà; Mikael Svenson
  10. Powerhouse of Cards? Understanding the 'Northern Powerhouse' By Neil Lee
  11. Availability of business services and outward investment: Evidence from French firms By Görg, Holger; Jabbour, Liza
  12. Regional Housing Supply Elasticity in China 1999-2013: A Spatial Equilibrium Analysis By Rickman, Dan S.; Wang, Hongbo
  13. Smart Specialization Strategies and Key Enabling Technologies. Regional evidence from European patent data. By Sandro Montresor; Francesco Quatraro

  1. By: Fagerberg , Jan (CIRCLE, University of Lund, IKE, University of Aalborg, TIK, University of Oslo); Srholec , Martin (CIRCLE, University of Lund, CERGE-EI, Charles University and Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the explanation of differences in regional economic performance. The first part of the paper presents an overview of how theoretical and applied work of relevance for the analysis of regional economic performance has evolved to its present stance. This leads to the identification of two central factors for regional economic performance, that is, capability building and specialization. There is ample evidence on the impact of these two factors on economic development at the national level, but lack of relevant data has until recently made it difficult to explore these relationships at the regional level. This paper uses data that has recently become available for European regions to delve further into the relationships between capability building, specialization and economic performance. The analysis shows that regional economic performance and capability building does indeed go hand in hand, while the evidence regarding the impact of specialization is more mixed. Finally, the implications of these findings for regional policy and future research are considered.
    Keywords: Capabilities; Specialization; Regions; Related Variety; Smart Specialization
    JEL: O30 O38
    Date: 2016–01–18
  2. By: McCoy, Daire; Lyons, Sean; Morgenroth, Edgar; Palcic, Donal; Allen, Leonie
    Abstract: Extensive previous work on factors affecting regional development has considered the impact of aggregate measures of infrastructure like the public capital stock or individual infrastructures such as motorways. More recently the impact of ICT infrastructure, and in particular broadband, has received attention. This paper analyses the impact on new business establishments of broadband infrastructure, motorways, airports and railways and a range of other local characteristics such as availability of human capital and access to third level educational facilities. The sample period spans the introduction and recent history of broadband in Ireland, and during this period 86% of the current motorway network was constructed. Human capital, measured as the percentage of the population with a third level qualification and proximity to a third level institution prove to be important determinants of new firm establishments. Availability of broadband infrastructure is significant, but its effects may be mediated by availability of sufficient local human capital. Transport infrastructure access is significant for some sectors. For all sectoral groupings examined, firm establishments seem to favour a more diverse local sectoral mix rather than a concentrated one.
    Keywords: New business establishments; ICT; Infrastructure; Count panel regression model
    JEL: D22 R11 R3
    Date: 2016–01–28
  3. By: AKAMATSU Takashi; MORI Tomoya; TAKAYAMA Yuki
    Abstract: Agglomeration externalities have been recognized as major sources of lumpy spatial distributions of industries and population. While the abstraction of interregional space has been a common exercise, the recent increasing availability of disaggregated geographical data and more sophisticated computational techniques have promoted counterfactual analyses based on many-region models of agglomeration externalities with explicit interregional space (e.g., Redding and Sturm, 2008; Allen and Arkolakis, 2014). A caveat is that incorporating interregional space to a many-region model with agglomeration externalities by itself does not warrant the formation of polycentric agglomerations in stable equilibria—a crucial property in order to replicate the observed geography of agglomerations. We elaborate this point by comparing a pair of new economic geography models: Forslid and Ottaviano (2003) and Helpman (1998). In a two-region economy, these models exhibit both "agglomeration" (i.e., a relative concentration of mobile agents in one of the regions) and "dispersion" (i.e., a uniform distribution of mobile agents across the two regions). But, if the location space were more disaggregated, only the former admits polycentric agglomerations in stable equilibria, while in the latter, only a monocentric agglomeration can occur if any.
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Rey, Sergio
    Abstract: In the study of income inequality dynamics, the concept of exchange mobility plays a central role. Applications of classical rank correlation statistics have been used to assess the degree to which individual economies swap positions in the income distribution over time. These classic measures ignore the underlying geographical pattern of these rank changes. Rey (2004) introduced a spatial concordance statistic as an extension of Kendall’s rank correlation statistic, a commonly employed measure of exchange mobility. This article suggests local forms of the global spatial concordance statistic: Local Indicators of Mobility Association (LIMA). The LIMA statistics allow for the decomposition of the global measure into the contributions associated with individual locations. They do so by considering the degree of concordance (stability) or discordance (exchange mobility) reflected within an economy’s local spatial context. Different forms of the LIMAs derive from alternative expressions of the neighborhood and neighbor set. Additionally, the additive decomposition of the LIMAs permits the development of a meso-level analytic to examine whether the overall space-time concordance is driven by either interregional or intraregional concordance. The measures are illustrated in a case study that examines regional income dynamics in Mexico.
    Keywords: space-time, concordance, inequality
    JEL: R12 R15
    Date: 2016–02–11
  5. By: Psycharis, Yannis; Rodriguez-Pose, Andres; Tselios, Vassilis
    Abstract: This paper discusses how electoral politics shapes the regional allocation of public investment expenditures per capita in Greece. Using regional public investment data for 10 political periods (1975-2009), combined with electoral data by constituency, a model is proposed which captures the influence of politics on the regional distribution of public investment expenditures. The results of the analysis point to a strong relationship between electoral results and regional public investment spending. Greek governing parties have tended to reward those constituencies returning them to office. Moreover, an increase in both the absolute and relative electoral returns of the governing party in a region has traditionally been followed by greater public investment per capita in that region. Regions where the governing party (whether Liberal or Socialist) has held a monopoly of seats have been the greatest beneficiaries of this type of pork-barrel politics.
    Keywords: elections; Greece; political geography; pork-barrel politics; public investment
    JEL: H50 H77 R12 R58 Z18
    Date: 2015–02
  6. By: Jing Chen (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University); Randall Jackson (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: The concept of “economic clusters” is usually referred to as geographical concentrations of firms in the same or related industries. Illustrative examples of economic clusters are medical devices clusters in Massachusetts and high-tech clusters in Silicon Valley, California. Such phenomenon have attracted interests from geographers, regional economists, urban planners and regional scientists a long time ago, yet in recent decades it has become extremely popular among policy-makers for regional development. Thus, an annotated bibliography on the state of the art of economic cluster research will be useful for current academicians and practitioners and will help them gain a deep and comprehensive understanding towards current economic clusters research
    Keywords: economic clusters, agglomerations, typologies
    JEL: R11 R12 O18
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Christian Longhi (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Since the development of the knowledge based economies, clusters and clusters policies have been the subject of increased interest, as sources of knowledge, innovation, and competitiveness. The paper focuses on a case study drawn from the French cluster policy, the pole of competitiveness ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, based on two high tech clusters, Rousset – Gémenos and Sophia-Antipolis. The policy aims to provide the firms incentives to build network relations of heterogeneous actors to trigger innovative processes. The analysis of the collaborative R&D projects of the pole provides insights on the nature of the collective learning networks working in the clusters as well as the prevailing organizational forms resulting from the firms strategies. It show that knowledge spillovers are not simply “in the air” but very specific of the learning networks and clusters from which they belong. Clusters thus need to be analyzed jointly with networks in order to understand the processes underlying their innovation capacity
    Keywords: Collective Learning Networks,Knowledge,Innovation,Clusters,Cluster Policy,Social Network Analysis
    Date: 2015
  8. By: John V. Winters (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: College graduates are considerably more mobile than non-graduates, and previous literature suggests that the difference is at least partially attributable to college graduates being more responsive to employment opportunities in other areas. However, there exist considerable differences in migration rates by college major that have gone largely unexplained. This paper uses microdata from the American Community Survey to examine how the migration decisions of young college graduates are affected by earnings in their college major. Results indicate that higher major-specific earnings in an individual’s state of birth reduce out-migration suggesting that college graduates are attracted toward areas that especially reward the specific type of human capital that they possess.
    Keywords: graduate migration; college major; college graduates; human capital
    JEL: J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2016–01
  9. By: Carl Bonander; Niklas Jakobsson; Federico Podestà; Mikael Svenson
    Abstract: Are research universities important for regional growth and development? We study the impact on the regional economy of granting research university status to two former university colleges in two different regions in Sweden. We analyze the development in the treated regions compared to a set of control regions that are created using the synthetic control method. We find small or no effects on the regional economy. Our findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of research universities in fostering regional growth and development. We contribute to the existing research by using a more credible identification strategy in assessing the effects of universities on the regional economy compared to what has usually been used in previous studies.
    Keywords: Higher education, Local economy, Regional development, Research, University
    JEL: H52 H75 O18 R11
    Date: 2016–02
  10. By: Neil Lee
    Abstract: The 'Northern Powerhouse' is the UK government's latest attempt to reduce regional disparities. By bringing together the cluster of cities in the North of England, the aim is to create an agglomeration with the scale to counterbalance London. To achieve this, policymakers have focused on four areas - transport, devolution, science and innovation, and culture. This paper summarises and critically reviews the Northern Powerhouse. While sympathetic to the basic idea, it argues that the Northern Powerhouse has become an increasingly fuzzy concept. It can be understood both as an economic development strategy, to help guide policymakers, and a political brand, giving focus to disparate and often pre-existing policies. As a strategy, it has meant some new resources and powers for the North and represents a partial return of interventionist approaches to local economic development. But it is geographically fuzzy, with funding insufficient to achieve its vague but ambitious aims. Instead, the Northern Powerhouse has become a political brand - used to brand policy interventions in a scattergun fashion, including some which pre-date the term or would have happened anyway. The result is a fuzzy policy agenda which is increasingly disconnected from the initial theoretical concept.
    Keywords: agglomeration, rebalancing, Northern Powerhouse, north-south divide
    JEL: R1 R12 R58
    Date: 2016–01
  11. By: Görg, Holger; Jabbour, Liza
    Abstract: This paper considers the link between the local availability of services and a firm's decision to become a multinational. This is a highly topical issue, given that many industrialised countries are increasingly becoming services economies and firms become increasingly more globalised. In an analysis of rich firm level data for France we find evidence that the availability of services in the home country indeed has a positive impact on firms' decisions to become multinationals. This is robust to endogeneity concerns. The result can be interpreted in a simple set up where the local availability of business services improves firm efficiency and, hence, allows firms to overcome sunk costs of investing abroad more easily.
    Keywords: Business Services,Foreign Direct Investment,Multinationals
    JEL: F23 R11
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Rickman, Dan S.; Wang, Hongbo
    Abstract: In this paper, we apply a spatial equilibrium growth model (Glaeser and Tobio, 2008) to examine relative housing price growth across the provinces and municipalities of mainland China for 1999-2013. The spatial equilibrium growth model is built upon the traditional static Rosen-Roback spatial equilibrium model. A distinguishing feature is the addition of a regionally-varying elasticity of housing supply. A primary finding is the significant geographical differences in housing price growth and the importance of differences in regional housing supply in explaining the differences in housing price growth. Regions in the East had the most inelastic housing supply, while northern regions had the most elastic housing supply.
    Keywords: Housing supply; China; Spatial equilibrium
    JEL: R11 R31
    Date: 2016–01–31
  13. By: Sandro Montresor; Francesco Quatraro
    Abstract: The paper investigates the drivers of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) with a focus on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). We re-examine the interpretation of S3 as new regional technological advantages (RTAs) obtained through relatedness, by reconceptualising within it the original focus on General Purpose Technologies (GPTs) and by considering their inter-regional spillovers. Combing regional patent and economic data for a 30-year panel (1980-2010) of 26 European countries, we find that KETs positively impact on new RTAs, pointing to a novel “enabling” role for them. KETs also negatively moderate the RTAs-impact of cognitively proximate pre-existing technologies, suggesting that KETs could make relatedness less binding in pursuing S3. The net-impact of KETs is positive, pointing to a new case for plugging KETs in the S3 policy tool-box. Furthermore, KETs also display cross-regional spillovers in their RTAs-impact, leaving KETs “poor” regions with a possible back-up from closer KETs “rich” ones.
    Keywords: Smart Specialization Strategies, Key Enabling Technologies, Relatedness, Revealed Technological Advantages
    JEL: R11 R58 O31 O33
    Date: 2015–08

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