nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2023‒06‒26
seven papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Regional Eco-Innovation Trajectories By Hendrik Hansmeier; Sebastian Losacker;
  2. Regional dependencies and local spillovers:Insights from commuter flows By Melanie Krause; Sebastian Kripfganz
  3. What’s in a Name? Initial Geography and German Urban Development By Duc A. Nguyen; Steven Brakman; Harry Garretsen; Tristan Kohl
  4. EU structural funds and GDP per capita: spatial VAR evidence for the European regions By Sergio Destefanis; Valter Di Giacinto
  5. Regional productivity growth in the EU: An assessment of recent developments By Ilias Kostarakos
  6. Innovation, localized externalities, and the British Industrial Revolution, 1700-1850 By Ugo M. Gragnolati; Alessandro Nuvolari
  7. The Evolution of Transnational Knowledge Networks of Cities: Outlining a Future Research Agenda By Adi Weidenfeld; Nick Clifton

  1. By: Hendrik Hansmeier; Sebastian Losacker;
    Abstract: Given that eco-innovations and the associated renewal of economic structures are pivotal in addressing environmental problems, economic geography research is increasingly focusing on their spatio-temporal dynamics. While green technological and industrial path developments in specific regions have received considerable attention, little effort has been made to derive general patterns of environmental inventive activities across regions. Drawing on unique data capturing both green incumbent and green start-up activities in the 401 German NUTS-3 regions over the period 1997-2018, this article aims to trace and compare the long-term green regional development. For this purpose, we introduce social sequence analysis methods to economic geography that allow us to understand the constitution of regional eco-innovation trajectories. The findings suggest that regions mainly display distinct trajectories. Yet, structural similarities emerge in the sense that regions of the same type occur in spatial proximity to each other and show persistent specialization patterns. These range from the simultaneous presence or absence of green incumbents and green start-ups to the dominance of just one of the two groups of actors. Only some regions manage to establish an above-average eco-innovation specialization over time. Since this greening originates from either green incumbent or green start-up specialization, green regional trajectories can be assumed to unfold mainly in a path dependent and less radical manner. In summary, this study provides important empirical and methodological impulses for further in-depth analyses to disentangle spatio-temporal phenomena in economic geography.
    Keywords: eco-innovation, green regional development, path dependency, regional transitions, social sequence analysis
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Melanie Krause; Sebastian Kripfganz
    Abstract: A region’s growth trajectory is influenced by the economic circumstances of other regions in its proximity. While proximity is often understood in a geographic sense, we consider commuting as a channel for cross-regional economic dependencies. In contrast to geographic measures, commuter flows are inherently asymmetric and heterogeneous. Estimating a time-space dynamic panel model with German county-level data, we demonstrate a considerable variation in the distribution of shock responses, which is hidden by the traditional focus on average marginal effects. We advocate for a more in-depth analysis of the spatial-effects distribution and highlight that local spatial multipliers differ depending on the nature of the shock and the assumed network structure
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Duc A. Nguyen; Steven Brakman; Harry Garretsen; Tristan Kohl
    Abstract: Place names, or toponyms, provide insight into the initial geographical characteristics of settlements. We present a unique dataset of 3, 705 German toponyms that includes the date of the first historical record mentioning the settlement and the date it was granted city rights. We show that the frequency of geographical toponyms as well as a novel proxy for local geographical advantage lead to a city-size distribution that adheres to Zipf’s law. In addition, we use the toponymical information to identify 168 geographical characteristics and empirically examine their importance for modern urban growth. Our results show that settlements with names referring to rivers, fords, churches, hills and historical clearing activities are associated with higher levels of 1910 population compared to places without named geographical characteristics. In addition, we show that the role of some of these characteristics in explaining urban development changes over time. We find for instance that proximity to castles matters more for initial settlement growth than trade capabilities, and highlight the evolving significance of shifting from defensive geography towards water-based trade over time.
    Keywords: toponyms, first-nature geography, Zipf’s law, path dependence, initial conditions, German urban development
    JEL: R11 R12 N90 N93
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Sergio Destefanis (University of Salerno); Valter Di Giacinto (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the impact of EU structural funds (SFs) on the GDP per capita of 183 European NUTS2 regions from 1990 to 2016. To allow for the endogeneity of funds allocation to regions, we estimate a bivariate structural panel VAR model, controlling for unobserved heterogeneity through a broad array of deterministic variables. Our main identifying restriction is rooted in the widely documented long lags affecting the implementation of the EU’s Cohesion Policy. Through a spatial VAR specification, we also estimate spillovers from local SF expenditure on other areas. We find significant multipliers measuring the local response of GDP to an exogenous shock in local SF expenditure, with a long-run value settling at 2.6. Spillovers for GDP from an exogenous shock to SFs are also positive and significant, but much smaller (about one fifth of within-region responses). When partitioning our sample according to features suggested by the literature (stage of development, EU funding regimes, size), we find that within-region multipliers are higher in lagging regions, especially in recipient countries of the Cohesion Fund, and in regions with a larger population. Spillovers are also heterogeneous across different groups of regions, turning out to be negative in regions in countries that are not recipients of the Cohesion Fund. All this evidence is validated in qualitative terms by robustness checks on model specification and the choice of spatial weights.
    Keywords: cohesion policy, spatial structural VAR model, fiscal multipliers, spillovers, EU NUTS-2 regions
    JEL: C33 E62 H50
    Date: 2023–04
  5. By: Ilias Kostarakos (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The level and growth rates of Total Factor Productivity estimates have been extensively used as a means of assessing the level of efficiency in production across regions as well as a source of the observed differences in economic performance. This paper, focusing on a sample of 242 EU NUTS2 regions spanning the 2000-2020 period provides a time series of TFP estimates, based on a new dataset of regional level capital stocks, and documents significant heterogeneity in terms of TFP developments across regions and groups of regions. The evidence suggest that TFP can account for up to 80% of the observed income differences, while it is made evident that during the period covered by the sample convergence in terms of TFP was weakened.
    Keywords: production function; total factor productivity; development accounting; convergence
    JEL: E01 E10 O47
    Date: 2023–05
  6. By: Ugo M. Gragnolati; Alessandro Nuvolari
    Abstract: We study the determinants of the spatial distribution of patent inventors at the county level for Great Britain between 1700-1850. Our empirical analysis rests on the localization model by Bottazzi et al. (2007) and on the related estimation procedure by Bottazzi and Gragnolati (2015). Such an approach helps in particular to discriminate the role of localized externalities against other descriptors of county attractiveness. Our results show that, while the underlying geography of production remained a strong determinant of inventor location all throughout the industrial revolution, the effect of localized externalities among patent inventors went from being nearly absent in the early phases of industrialization to becoming a major driver of inventor location. In particular, local interactions among the ''mass'' of generic inventors turn out to be at least as important as interactions with ''elite'' inventors.
    Keywords: Inventor location; Patents; Localized externalities; Industrial Revolution.
    Date: 2023–06–05
  7. By: Adi Weidenfeld (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); Nick Clifton (Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Cardiff Metropolitan University)
    Abstract: The recent growth of transnational networks of cities requires a better understanding of their role as knowledge networks. For some actors, this growth has resulted in arbitrary or top-down decisions on network membership followed by low commitment and inefficient use of time and financial resources. By reinterpreting secondary data, this paper argues that not only the nature of their institutional settings and actors’ composition but also some specific qualities and the nature of collaborative mechanisms shape the networks’ overall systemic nature. Based on the network perspective the paper advances our understanding of transnational knowledge networks’ growth and the maximising of their effectiveness. Using exemplars, it develops a research agenda for the evolution of transnational networks of regions.
    Keywords: transnational knowledge networks, interregional knowledge transfer, regional innovation systems, city networks
    JEL: P25 P48
    Date: 2023

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