nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
eight papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. The regional impact of economic shocks: Why immigration is different from import competition By Christoph Albert; Joan Monràs
  2. The Fragmented United States of America: The impact of scattered lock-down policies on country-wide infections By Jacek Rothert; Ryan Brady; Michael Insler
  3. The geography of Business Angel investments in the UK: does local bias (still) matter? By Cowling, Marc; Brown, Ross; Lee, Neil
  4. The Importance of regional Spill-over Effects for Eco-Innovations in German Start-ups By Jens Horbach
  5. Human Capital Constraints, Spatial Dependence, and Regionalization in Bolivia: A Spatial Clustering Approach By Mendez, Carlos; Gonzales, Erick
  6. Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policies to promote recruitment. By Nyström, Kristina
  7. Evaluation of indirect effects of place-based science-industry transfer policies: Case of French Technological Research Institutes By Ruben Fotso
  8. “On the impact of European Union Cohesion Policy on regional support for the European project” By Enrique López-Bazo

  1. By: Christoph Albert; Joan Monràs
    Abstract: Prior literature has documented large and persistent employment effects in regions exposed to import competition, but non-lasting effects in locations receiving large immigrant waves. Import competition and immigration are comparable to the extent that imports are thought of as the labor embedded in imported goods. We explain this puzzle by arguing that a fundamental difference between trade and immigration is that whereas immigrants systematically enter metropolitan areas with high housing prices, import competition affects all kinds of local labor markets. We argue that when housing expenditure is decreasing as a share of income, internal migration is more responsive to local shocks in high-price locations. We provide evidence that, irrespective of the local shock, internal migration is indeed more responsive in high than in low housing price locations. Hence, conflicting findings in the literature reflect differences between the average local labor markets receiving each shock, rather than systematic differences in how local labor markets absorb those different shocks.
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Jacek Rothert (United States Naval Academy; Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE)); Ryan Brady (United States Naval Academy); Michael Insler (United States Naval Academy)
    Abstract: Fragmented by policies, united by outcomes: This is the picture of the United States that emerges from our analysis of the spatial diffusion of Covid-19 and the scattered lock-down policies introduced by individual states. We first use spatial econometric techniques to document spillovers of new infections across county and state lines, as well as the impact of individual states' lock-down policies on infections in neighboring states. We find evidence that new cases diffuse across county lines and that the diffusion across counties was affected by the closure policies of adjacent states. Spatial impulse response functions reveal that the diffusion across counties is persistent. We then develop a spatial version of the epidemiological SIR model where new infections arise from interactions between infected people in one state and susceptible people in the same or in neighboring states. We incorporate lock-down policies and calibrate the model to match both the cumulative and the new infections across the 48 contiguous U.S. states and DC. Our results suggest that lax policies in the most lenient states translate into millions of additional infections in the rest of the country. In our spatial SIR model, the spatial containment policies such as border closures have a bigger impact on flattening the infection curve in the short-run than on the cumulative infections in the long-run.
    Keywords: diffusion, spatial model, Covid-19, epidemics
    JEL: R15 H77 I19
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Cowling, Marc; Brown, Ross; Lee, Neil
    Abstract: Business angels (BAs) - high net worth individuals who provide informal risk capital to firms - are seen as important providers of entrepreneurial finance. Theory and conventional wisdom suggest that the need for face-to-face interaction will ensure angels will have a strong predilection for local investments. We empirically test this assumption using a large representative survey of UK BAs. Our results show local bias is less common than previously thought with only one quarter of total investments made locally. However, we also show pronounced regional disparities, with investment activity dominated by BAs in London and Southern England. In these locations there is a stronger propensity for localised investment patterns mediated by the “thick” nature of the informal risk capital market. Together these trends further reinforce and exacerbate the disparities evident in the UK’s financial system. The findings make an important contribution to the literature and public policy debates on the uneven nature of financial markets for sources of entrepreneurial finance.
    Keywords: entrepreneurial finance; Business Angels; equity investment; local bias; public policy
    JEL: L81
    Date: 2020–12–08
  4. By: Jens Horbach (Faculty of Business, University of Applied Sciences Augsburg)
    Abstract: Eco-innovation activities are crucial for the mitigation of climate change and further envi-ronmental problems. Start-up firms might play an important role for this relatively new in-novation field as they are predestinated for realizing completely new ideas compared to in-cumbent firms that are not willing to abandon their established innovation paths. On the oth-er side, start-ups have limited resources and need external regionally available input of knowledge. Based on data of the German IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel in combination with re-gional data at the NUTS 3 level, the paper analyzes the determinants of eco-innovation in start-up firms. The econometric results show that regional spill-over effects seem to be very important for eco-innovation activities of start-up firms. In regions where the existing stock of environmentally related patents is already high, the probability that a start-up firm realiz-es eco-innovations is significantly higher. Furthermore, eco-innovative start-ups show dis-proportionally more difficulties to get financing from external investors.
    Keywords: Regional spill-over effects, environmental innovation, probit models
    JEL: Q55 R11 C25
    Date: 2020–12
  5. By: Mendez, Carlos; Gonzales, Erick
    Abstract: Using a novel municipal-level dataset and spatial clustering methods, this article studies the distribution of human capital constraints across 339 municipalities in Bolivia. In particular, the spatial distribution of five human capital constraints are evaluated: chronic malnutrition in children, non-Spanish speaking population, secondary dropout rates of males, secondary dropout rates of females, and the inequality of years of education. Through the lens of both spatial dependence and regionalization frameworks, the municipalities of Bolivia are endogenously classified according to both their level of human capital constraints and their locational similarity. Results from the spatial dependence analysis indicate the location of hotspots (high-value clusters), coldspots (low-value clusters), and spatial outliers for each of the previously listed constraints. Results from the regionalization analysis indicate that Bolivia can be regionalized into six to seven geographical locations that face similar constraints in the accumulation of human capital. The article concludes by highlighting the usefulness of spatial data analysis for designing and monitoring human development goals.
    Keywords: Human capital, Spatial dependence, Regionalization, Cluster analysis, Bolivia
    JEL: C38 J24 R10
    Date: 2020–11–15
  6. By: Nyström, Kristina (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: This paper studies the perceived difficulty of recruiting scarce competences to rural regions. Furthermore, the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing recruitment to and better skills matching in rural regions is discussed. Based on a survey targeted to the business sections in Swedish municipalities, the results show that recruitment is perceived to be difficult in both rural and non-rural regions. However, recruitment problems in the public sector are more pronounced in rural municipalities. Nevertheless, recruitment to the public and business sectors are perceived to be equally difficult in rural regions. Both rural municipalities and non-rural municipalities state that the difficulty of recruiting the right skills results in a lack of skills matching and constitutes an obstacle to growth. Which policies can help remedy recruitment problems in rural regions? The pecuniary incentive of writing off student debt is perceived to be the most promising policy, but respondents also believe that non-pecuniary support such as relocation support for accompanying persons and tandem recruitment should be implemented to a greater extent. Finally, the need for flexibility and policies that can be adapted to the regional demand for labour are stressed. This regards for example the adaption of education programmes to local needs and rules and regulations.
    Keywords: Recruitment; skills matching; rural development; regional policy
    JEL: R23 R58
    Date: 2020–12–10
  7. By: Ruben Fotso (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: When it comes to evaluating the causal effect of public policies on corporate performance, most studies tend toexclusively focus on targeted (treated) firms as if they have no relationship to the rest of the economy. Yet, public policies are highly likely to indirectly influence non-targeted firms due to the relationships they have with the targeted firms. This paper aims to fill this gap by evaluating the indirect causal effect of a new French science-industry transfer policy on the financial and employment variables of non-targeted companies. To do so, it focuses on French Technological Research Institutes (TRIs) which are science-industry collaborations based on technological platforms that bring together SMEs, large companies, universities and public research bodies with the goal of accelerating the transfer of knowledge towards firms and generating spillovers inside and outside the scheme. Based on geographical economics literature, it can be assumed that indirect effects tend to be spatially concentrated. By comparing a local untreated company to a non-local untreated company, therefore, using a difference-indifferences method applied to panel data (2008-2016) and combined with a double matching at the department level (NUTS 3) and at the firm level, it can be seen that non-beneficiary companies, located in the treated French department significantly improve their financial performance (turnover, financial autonomy) compared to control companies located in the control departments. The dynamics of employment variables are a little more complex. A negative significant effect is observed on the proportion of managers at the beginning of treatment and a positive significant effect is noticed later at the end of the period of observation. Analysis of the dynamics of the effects indicates that performance does not improve immediately after the treatment but later in time.
    Keywords: Indirect effect,impact evaluation,difference-in-differences approach,SMEs,spillovers
    Date: 2020–11–10
  8. By: Enrique López-Bazo (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Cohesion Policy is the main policy tool of the European Union and the backbone of its regional policy. Given its characteristics, it is the EU policy with the greatest impact on the daily life of European citizens and can compensate population groups and places less favoured by the European integration process. As a result, the implementation of Cohesion Policy in a region is expected to shape the degree of regional support for the process of European integration. This study tests this assumption using regional data for the EU28 in a period that includes the recent phases of expansion and recession, in a scenario characterized by growing anti-EU rhetoric. The results suggest that a greater amount of EU funds spent in the region does not stimulate regional support for the Union. However, an appropriate temporal distribution of the resources allocated to the region could have a positive effect on support.
    Keywords: Cohesion policy, Regional policy, Attitudes towards the EU, Structural funds, EU regions. JEL classification: H54, 018, R10, R58.
    Date: 2020–12

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