nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒12‒05
five papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Giacomo Becattini and the notion of “Marshallian Industrial Districtâ€. By Joan Trullen
  2. The diffusion of knowledge in industrial districts and clusters By Manuel Lopez-Estornell
  3. Entrepreneurship and cities: evidence from the post-communist world By Maksim Belitski; Julia Korosteleva
  4. Gender-specific dynamics in working hours By Inge Noback; Lourens Broersma; Jouke van Dijk
  5. New Knowledge for Old Regions? The Case of the Software Park Hagenberg in the Traditional Industrial Region of Upper Austria By Gunther Maier; Michaela Trippl

  1. By: Joan Trullen
    Abstract: Abstract: The notion of “Marshallian Industrial District†proposed by Giacomo Becattini in the first seventies has led a revolution in the local economic analysis around the world. The paper offers a methodological interpretation of the approach adopted by Becattini. The roots are clearly Marshallian. He understands the economy as a complex social science that operates in historical time. But Becattini goes beyond because he proposes a new unity of analysis for the local economic development. The paper identifies similarities and differences between the original concept of “Industrial District†proposed by Marshall and the concept of “Marshallian Industrial District†in the Becattini’s approach. The paper uses the distinction between logical time, real time and historical time. The “Marshallian Industrial District†approach proposes the study of economic process located in specific areas and explained in historical time. Keywords: industrial district, Marshallian industrial district, methodology of economics, Schumpeter’s economic analysis, historical time, economic process. JEL: B31, B41
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Manuel Lopez-Estornell
    Abstract: ABSTRACT The dissemination of knowledge in industrial districts (ID) and clusters has often been linked to the existence of a specific tacit knowledge. Thus, the companies belonging to ID specialization sector might sustain a distinctive competitive advantage against isolated firms. However, the observation of technological changes in recent decades and the presence of ID whose technological intensity has dramatically increased in the same period suggest the existence and need for codified knowledge in these agglomerations. As result of tacit knowledge decline, the economic performance of ID could move backwards, given the greater ease to imitate and reproduce their contextual knowledge by competitor firms located in not district areas. The paper discusses the above assumptions, suggesting the existence of combinations/hybridizations of both types of knowledge in ID, which we have named locational-translational knowledge. This third type of knowledge could explain the maintenance of ID contextual advantages even in presence of higher doses of codified knowledge. This would require the presence of agents acting as interfaces able to absorb new pieces of codified knowledge in order to combine them with local knowledge for adjusting the specific needs of ID. However, we argue the existence of several constraints, such as the size of 'creative market district’, in ID which may require the opening of ID to knowledge imported from academic institutions and other formal research organizations, in contrast with autarky or isolation suggested by tacit knowledge. Finally, an analysis of the ID evolution enables us to appreciate that the process of absorption, combination and dissemination of external knowledge may have existed throughout the life cycle of ID but supported, at each stage, for different institutional agents: the 'impannatore', the 'cappofiliera' firm and, lastly, for formal knowledge-oriented institutions such as the above referred.
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Maksim Belitski; Julia Korosteleva
    Abstract: We investigate variation in entrepreneurial activity across 98 Eastern Neighbourhood cities. The aim of study is twofold: to bridge the city-level gap in empirical research on entrepreneurship in the Eastern Neighbourhood urban areas; to focus on urban heterogeneity in entrepreneurship unlike regional level studies which deal both with urban and rural areas where entrepreneurial activity has different characteristics. Finally, in accordance with urban incubator hypothesis the incidence of entrepreneurship is higher in urban agglomerations. To measure entrepreneurship a number of small businesses is used which has been widely used in a number of studies for capturing entrepreneurial activities. We employ the System GMM estimator to establish our model, which is determined by the need to address some econometric problems, including the problem of potential endogeneity of some of our regressors; the presence of predetermined variables, namely the lagged dependent variable; the presence of fixed effects which may be correlated with the repressors; finite sample. We find that the heterogeneity in entrepreneurship is largely explained by the agglomeration effects and city socio-economic characteristics such as level of poverty. On the one hand this is puzzling, as the general perception of the nature of entrepreneurial activity in these countries is that it is necessity-driven. On the other hand, the role of the government and social benefits still seem to play an important role in the countries of transition discouraging individuals from considering entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty. We fail to support the hypothesis of Moscow proximity as an important driver for small business activity in these cities. At the same time our findings support capital-city hypothesis as an incubator for business start-ups. Unfortunately, the level of capital stock and criminality add little in explaining the variation of entrepreneurship. We also do not find any robust effect of transition reforms, including small-scale privatisation, banking transformation and business regulation on entrepreneurial entry in the Eastern Neighbourhood cities.
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Inge Noback; Lourens Broersma; Jouke van Dijk
    Abstract: Abstract Gender-specific dynamics in working hours ERSA Barcelona 2011 The Dutch are part-time working champions of the world, not just because the majority of women work part-time, also a growing number of men are working part-time. However, with the aging of the population there is an increasing threat to current welfare levels. The aim of this paper is to assess the possibilities of a rise in wealth through a change in (the trend of) working hours. For the analysis we have created a unique data base which includes workers that have occupied the same job in the period 2003-2005. This means we abstain from dynamics in jobs, (i.e. job finders, job switchers, job losers), which can partly be attributed to changes in participation. Instead we focus completely at working hours of a given job. The analysis is comprised of two parts, first we analyse factors determine the actual number of hours worked for both female and male occupied jobs. Second, we analyse the dynamics in working hours of a given job using a bivariate probit estimation with selection. This model takes into account what factors determine if a person does or does not change working hours and subsequently examines which factors determine whether this change is an increase or a decrease in working hours. Women more frequently change their working hours than men and both rather decrease than increase their working hours. Changes in work situation and household situation are important determinants of changes in working hours, for women also changes in residential context play a role. A decrease in hourly wage and a relative decrease in the burden of taking care of small children are important determinants of increasing working hours, for both men and women. Although men only decrease their working hours after the birth of the first child.
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Gunther Maier; Michaela Trippl
    Abstract: This paper seeks to enhance our understanding about the opportunities and limits of new path creation in traditional regional innovation systems. Due to their inherited historical legacies, such systems are usually thought of being ill-equipped to give rise to high-tech or knowledge intensive activities. Departing from recent insights on research concerned with the transformation of innovation systems and evolutionary economic geography we identify in a conceptual way enabling and constraining factors for the rise of new development paths in traditional regions. Empirically, we focus on the case of the “Software Park Hagenberg†(SPH) located in the old industrial region of Upper Austria. We examine key events triggering the emergence and subsequent evolution of the SPH and explore the role of the RIS in shaping the development trajectory of the SPH. Moreover, applying social network analysis tools, we investigate the pattern of networking between firms, research organisations and educational bodies within the SPH and we provide some evidence on the diffusion of knowledge and innovation generated though these interactions throughout the regional economy.
    Date: 2011–09

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