nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2020‒06‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Related variety, recombinant knowledge and regional innovation. Evidence for Sweden, 1991-2010 By Mikhail Martynovich; Josef Taalbi
  2. Innovation catalysts - How multinationals reshape the global geography of innovation By Riccardo Crescenzi; Arnaud Dyèvre; Frank Neffke
  3. Socioeconomic Factors influencing the Spatial Spread of COVID-19 in the United States By Christopher F Baum; Miguel Henry
  4. Living preferences of STEM workers in a high-tech business park of a peripheral region By Hooijen, Inge; Cörvers, Frank
  5. Geographic Mobility in America: Evidence from Cell Phone Data By M. Keith Chen; Devin G. Pope
  6. Regional trajectories of entrepreneurship: the effect of socialism and transition By Michael Fritsch; Maria Kristalova; Michael Wyrwich
  7. Does Goliath Help David? Anchor Firms and Startup Clusters By Rahul R. Gupta
  8. Elementary Facts about Immigration in Italy: What Do We Know about Immigration and Its Impact? By Mariani, Rama Dasi; Pasquini, Alessandra; Rosati, Furio C.
  9. Persistence of commuting habits: Context effects in Germany By Jost, Ramona
  10. The Process of Convergence among the Japanese Prefectures: 1955 - 2012. By Delgado Narro, Augusto Ricardo
  11. The importance of studying inter-regional spillover effects of European policies: application of the RHOMOLO model for Poland By Patrizio Lecca; Simone Salotti; Andrea Conte
  12. Aufsteigerregionen in Deutschland - Go East! Eine empirische Analyse der Entwicklung deutscher Kreise By Oberst, Christian; Voigtländer, Michael

  1. By: Mikhail Martynovich; Josef Taalbi
    Abstract: This study investigates how related variety in the regional employment mix affects the innovation output of a region. Departing from the idea of recombinant innovation, previous research has argued that related variety enhances regional innovation as inter-industry knowledge spillovers occur more easily between different but cognitively similar industries. This study combines a novel dataset and related variety measures based on network theory, which allows a more nuanced perspective on the relationship between related variety and regional innovation. The principal novelty of the paper lies in employing new data on product innovations commercialised by Swedish manufacturing firms between 1970 and 2013. In this respect, it allows a direct measure of regional innovation output as compared to patent measures, usually employed in similar studies. The second contribution of this paper is that we employ network-topology based measures of related variety that allow us to measure relatedness as the recombination rather than direct flow of knowledge. We argue that this measure comes closer to the notion of innovation as spurred by recombination and show that this measure is a superior predictor of innovation activity.
    Keywords: related variety, relatedness, innovation, network analysis
    JEL: L16 O31 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–03
  2. By: Riccardo Crescenzi; Arnaud Dyèvre; Frank Neffke
    Abstract: We study whether and when Research and Development (R&D) activities by foreign multinationals help in the formation and development of new innovation clusters. Combining information on nearly four decades worth of patents with socio-economic data for regions that cover virtually the entire globe, we use matched difference-in-differences estimation to show that R&D activities by foreign multinationals have a positive causal effect on local innovation rates. This effect is sizeable: foreign research activities help a region climb 14 percentiles in the global innovation ranks within five years. This effect materializes through a combination of knowledge spillovers to domestic firms and the attraction of new foreign firms to the region. However, not all multinationals generate equal benefits. In spite of their advanced technological capabilities, technology leaders generate fewer spillovers than technologically less advanced multinationals. A closer inspection reveals that technology leaders also engage in fewer technological alliances and exchange fewer workers in local labor markets abroad than less advanced firms. Moreover, technology leaders tend to set up their foreign R&D activities in regions with relatively low absorptive capacity. We attribute these differences to that fact that the trade-off between costs and benefits of local spillovers a multinational faces depends on the multinational’s technological sophistication. This illustrates the importance of understanding corporate strategy when analyzing innovation clusters.
    Keywords: innovation, regions, foreign direct investment, patenting, cluster emergence
    JEL: O32 O33 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Christopher F Baum (Boston College; DIW Berlin); Miguel Henry (Greylock McKinnon Associates)
    Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed in the U.S., "hotspots" have been shifting geographically over time to suburban and rural counties showing a high prevalence of the disease. We analyze daily U.S. county-level variations in COVID-19 confirmed case counts to evaluate the spatial dependence between neighboring counties. We find strong evidence of county-level socioeconomic factors influencing the spatial spread. We show the potential of combining spatial econometric techniques and socioeconomic factors in assessing the spatial effects of COVID-19 among neighboring counties.
    Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, socioeconomic factors, spillover effects, spatial econometrics
    JEL: C13 C21 R15 R23
    Date: 2020–05–29
  4. By: Hooijen, Inge (ROA / Human capital in the region, RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work); Cörvers, Frank (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: FdR Institute ITEM, RS: SBE - MACIMIDE, ROA / Human capital in the region)
    Abstract: Despite the importance of STEM workers to regional economies, scientists and policymakers have a limited understanding of how to recruit this scarce target group, particularly in offering an attractive living environment. This case study uses self-reported overall life satisfaction to explore the living preferences of STEM workers employed at a high-tech business park (HTBP) in a demographically shrinking region in the southern periphery of the Netherlands. We argue that individuals’ self-evaluation of life satisfaction is a proxy for their individual utility and thereby indicates the preferred features of the geographical unit in which they reside. We relate the survey data of 420 employees at the business park to the specific characteristics of the municipalities they live in, complemented by qualitative data from 32 semi-structured interviews with these workers. We conclude that the average STEM worker at the HTBP prefers to reside in places of lower extraversion, which are often characterized by a suburban lifestyle, green areas, and open spaces, including a little touch of consumer amenities.
    JEL: J11 O18 R11 R23 R58
    Date: 2020–05–18
  5. By: M. Keith Chen; Devin G. Pope
    Abstract: Traveling beyond the immediate surroundings of one’s residence can lead to greater exposure to new ideas and information, jobs, and greater transmission of disease. In this paper, we document the geographic mobility of individuals in the U.S., and how this mobility varies across U.S. cities, regions, and income classes. Using geolocation data for ~1.7 million smartphone users over a 10-month period, we compute different measures of mobility, including the total distance traveled, the median daily distance traveled, the maximum distance traveled from one’s home, and the number of unique haunts visited. We find large differences across cities and income groups. For example, people in New York travel 38% fewer total kilometers and visit 14% fewer block-sized areas than people in Atlanta. And, individuals in the bottom income quartile travel 12% less overall and visit 13% fewer total locations than the top income quartile.
    JEL: R23
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Michael Fritsch (Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), Germany); Maria Kristalova (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany); Michael Wyrwich (University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: We investigate how major historical shocks affect regional trajectories of economic activity. To this end, we conduct a comparative analysis of the development of entrepreneurship in East and West Germany after World War II. The introduction of an anti-entrepreneurial socialist economy in East Germany in 1949, and the subsequent transformation to a market economy four decades later were major historical shocks to the economy in general, and to entrepreneurship specifically. Our comparative analysis of East and West Germany assesses how these shocks affected the level of entrepreneurship at the regional level. Surprisingly, our results show that socialism does not have a long-run negative effect on the prevalence of self-employment in East Germany, despite the severe anti- entrepreneurial policies prevalent in Soviet-style socialism. Quite to the contrary, there is actually a positive treatment effect of German separation and reunification. Further analyses suggest that current structural differences in regional levels of self-employment in Germany are not pre- dominantly due to the socialist legacy of the East, but mainly a result of the shock transformation that occurred with reunification.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, self-employment, transition, socialism, regional development, GDR
    JEL: L26 R11 N94 P25
    Date: 2020–06–02
  7. By: Rahul R. Gupta
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of a large firm’s geographical expansion (anchor firm) on local worker transitions into young firms through wage effects in industries economically proximate to the anchor firm. Using hand-collected data matched to administrative Census microdata, I exploit anchor firms’ site selection processes to employ a difference-in-differences approach to compare workers in winning counties to those in counterfactual counties. The arrival of an anchor firm induces worker reallocation towards young firms in industries linked through input-output channels by a magnitude of 120 new businesses that account for approximately 2,300 jobs. Consistent with the literature in personnel and organizational economics, incumbent firms experiencing the fastest wage growth due to these shocks shed mid-layer employees who select into young firms within the county and in their own industry of experience. These effects are strongest in the most specialized and knowledge-intensive industries. Attracting an anchor firm to a county appears to have limited spillover effects in overall employment that are mainly driven by reorganization of incumbent firms in the anchor’s input-output industries that face rising labor costs.
    Date: 2020–05
  8. By: Mariani, Rama Dasi (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Pasquini, Alessandra (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: In the recent past, in Italy, immigration has been at the centre of academic and policy debates. Nonetheless, the still growing literature has focused mainly on the experience of old settlement countries and has mainly looked at single aspects of the phenomenon. In order to guide effective policy intervention, we offer an exhaustive view of immigration in Italy. We combine the presentation of stylized facts from available data, based on descriptive analyses, with a review of existing studies. Our conclusions tell that evidence available for Italy does not match the policy relevance of an issue that has been dominating the public debate in the last years and also identify areas where solid evidence or analysis is needed.
    Keywords: regional labour market, education, integration, mobility, immigration
    JEL: F22 I24 J15 J61 R23
    Date: 2020–04
  9. By: Jost, Ramona (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Based on the geo-referenced data, I analyse the commuting behaviour of employees in Germany. With the help of a behavioural economic approach, which is based on the investigation of Simonsohn (2006) for the US, I can show that it is not only the wage and the individual heterogeneity that shape commuting decisions. Instead, the commuting behaviour depends on the context individuals observe in the past. In particular, I demonstrate that the commuting behaviour is influenced by past-observed commutes: Worker choose longer commuting times in a region they just moved to, the longer the average commute was in the region they moved away. This effect applies especially for older employees, but is the same for men and women. Moreover, my robustness checks indicate that individual heterogeneity, selectivity or endogeneity issues do not drive this effect. In addition, I show if individuals stay in the new region, the effect of the previous region disappears, as workers adapt the commuting behaviour of the new region and move again within the new region. This is consistent with the prediction of behavioural economic theory, but refuses the assumption of stable taste differences." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J60 R10 R19 R23
  10. By: Delgado Narro, Augusto Ricardo
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the convergence process in Japan by time series analysis and the existence of clubs of convergence by finding if they are endogenously conformed. We follow a two-stage approach. The first one consists of the analysis of stochastic convergence. Secondly, prove the existence of clubs of convergence among prefectures. We find two clubs of convergence conformed endogenously. The first club is integrated by 40 prefectures converging slowly toward a unique steady state. Five prefectures integrate the second club of convergence. Finally, Tokyo and Nara are not converging toward any steady-state like disconnected prefectures.
    Keywords: β-Convergence, Regional Economics, Growth, Clubs of Convergence
    JEL: O47 P25 R11
    Date: 2020–05–13
  11. By: Patrizio Lecca (European Commission - JRC); Simone Salotti (European Commission - JRC); Andrea Conte (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The European cohesion policy is the EU’s main investment policy and targets all regions and cities across the EU to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, and sustainable development. In the 2014–2020 programming period, one third of the EU budget has been allocated to the projects under this policy. This report contains a macroeconomic impact assessment of the European cohesion policy with a focus on Polish regions. The analysis deals in particular with the spillover effects arising from the policy intervention resulting from indirect trade effects and other inter-regional inter-dependencies and interactions. The analysis shows that the policy has a positive long-run impact, lasting years after the end of the programmes. This reflects the fact that cohesion policy supports investments in key engines of growth improving the structure of the Polish economy.
    Keywords: Rhomolo, region, growth, cohesion policy, Poland
    JEL: C68 R13
    Date: 2020–06
  12. By: Oberst, Christian; Voigtländer, Michael
    Abstract: Die regionale Entwicklung in Deutschland wird in Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit viel diskutiert, zumeist liegt der Fokus aber auf den Regionen, die aufgrund ihrer Entwicklung als Handlungsregionen charakterisiert werden können. Der Fokus dieser Studie wird stattdessen auf die Aufsteigerregionen gelegt, also solche Regionen, die ausgehend von einem unterdurchschnittlichen Ausgangsniveau sich überdurchschnittlich entwickelt haben. Berücksichtigt wurden bei der Konvergenzanalyse die Standortfaktoren: Arbeitslosenquote, Kaufkraft, Durchschnittsalter, Breitbandausbau, Bevölkerungsdichte, private und kommunale Verschuldung. Außerdem wurden zwei unterschiedliche Skalenansätze für die Konvergenzanalyse verwendet. Insgesamt können auf diese Weise zwölf Aufsteigerregionen identifiziert werden, wobei die eindeutigsten Aufsteiger die Raumordnungsregionen Havelland-Fläming, Prignitz-Oberhavel, Westsachsen und Mittelthüringen sind. Darüber hinaus wurden sogenannte lokale Aufsteiger identifiziert, dies sind Kreise, die sich sehr dynamisch entwickelt haben, die sich aber in einer Raumordnungsregion befinden, die sich nur durchschnittlich oder sogar unterdurchschnittlich entwickelt hat. Auch hierbei ist Ostdeutschland überrepräsentiert. Insgesamt zeigen viele Regionen in Ostdeutschland eine sehr gute Entwicklung, insbesondere in Bezug auf die Arbeitsmarktentwicklung. Allerdings gibt es auf der anderen Seite auch ostdeutsche Regionen, die als Handlungsregionen identifiziert werden. Die Entwicklung in Ostdeutschland differenziert sich damit immer weiter aus, wobei aber die zunehmend stärker werdenden Wirtschaftszentren langfristig auch weiter entfernte Umlandregionen mitziehen könnten. Möglicherweise könnte die Corona-Krise den Konvergenzprozess sogar unterstützen. Denn während etwa in Süddeutschland viele Menschen in besonders gefährdeten Branchen arbeiten, ist der Branchenmix in vielen ostdeutschen Regionen eher unauffällig. Der identifizierte Aufholprozess sollte sich also zumindest fortsetzen.
    JEL: O18 R11 R50
    Date: 2020

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