nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2008‒02‒09
eleven papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Beyond the Knowledge-Based Theory of the Geographic Cluster By Bjørn Asheim; Ron A. Boschma; Philip Cooke
  2. Constructing regional advantage: Platform policies based on related variety and differentiated knowledge bases By Alexander Cole
  3. The Process of Creative Construction: Knowledge Spillovers, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth By Rajshree Agarwal; David Audretsch; MB Sarkar
  4. Betting on Own Knowledge: Experimental Test of Overconfidence By Pavlo R. Blavatskyy
  5. Links in the Knowledge Journey of an Idea to Innovation: A Study in the Context of Development of Customized Cartons By Dixit Mukund R.; Girja Sharan
  6. Related variety, trade variety and regional growth in Italy By Ron Boschma; Simona Iammarino
  7. The Governance of the Knowledge-Intensive Firm in an Industry Life-Cycle Approach By Jackie Krafft; Jacques Laurent Ravix
  8. R&D and productivity : estimating production functions when productivity is endogenous By Ulrich Doraszelski; Jordi Jaumandreu
  9. Main features of the labour policy in Portugal By Moniz, António; Woll, Tobias
  11. Innovation Processes and Industrial Districts By Paul L. Robertson; David Jacobson; Richard N. Langlois

  1. By: Bjørn Asheim; Ron A. Boschma; Philip Cooke
    Abstract: The article presents a regional innovation policy model, based on the idea of constructing regional advantage. This policy model brings together concepts like related variety, knowledge bases and policy platforms. Related variety attaches great importance to knowledge spillovers across complementary sectors, possibly in a region. Then, the paper categorises knowledge into ‘analytical’ (science based), ‘synthetic’ (engineering based) and ‘symbolic’ (artistic based) in nature, with different ‘virtual’ and real proximity mixes. Finally, the implications of this are traced for evolving ‘platform policies’ that facilitate economic development within and between regions in action lines appropriate to related variety and differentiated knowledge bases.
    Keywords: Related variety; Differentiated knowledge bases; Platform policy, Regional innovation policy
    JEL: R11 R58 O38 B52
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Alexander Cole
    Abstract: The knowledge-based theory of the geographic cluster represents a major attempt to re-conceptualize clusters, in essence arguing that the localization of firms in similar and related industries stimulates learning and innovation, giving a competitive advantage to clustered firms. This paper critically examines the knowledge-based theory the cluster, arguing that it has greatly overstated the advantages of co-location to firms and misidentified the mechanisms through which learning occurs in clusters. In particular, the theory is criticized on three points: the flexible, under-specified way that it defines its object of study; the focus on firms as an explanatory variable instead of more fundamental processes of resource accumulation; and the functionalist mode of theory that employs as an explanation. Ways to address of each of these issues are discussed. In a final section I suggest that the rather static notions of learning put forward in the knowledge-based theory of the cluster be replaced by a developmental theory of regional dynamics that focuses on both learning and structural transformation.
    Keywords: geographic cluster, localization, relatedness, knowledge-based theory
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Rajshree Agarwal (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign); David Audretsch (Max Planck Institute of Economics); MB Sarkar (University of Central Florida)
    Abstract: Questioning the underlying assumptions of the process of creative destruction, we conceptualize an alternative process of creative construction that may characterize the dynamics between entrants and incumbents. We discuss the underlying mechanism of knowledge spillover strategic entrepreneurship whereby knowledge investments by existing organizations, when coupled with entrepreneurial action by individuals embedded in their context, results in new venture creation, heterogeneity in performance and subsequent growth in industries, regions and economies. The framework has implications for future research in entrepreneurship, strategy and economic growth.
    Keywords: growth, spillovers, creative destruction, entrepreneurship
    JEL: L16 L21 M13 O11 O40 O57
    Date: 2008–01–30
  4. By: Pavlo R. Blavatskyy
    Abstract: This paper presents a new incentive compatible method for measuring confidence in own knowledge. This method consists of two parts. First, an individual answers several general knowledge questions. Second, the individual chooses among three alternatives: 1) one question is selected at random and the individual receives a payoff if he or she has answered this question correctly; 2) the individual receives the same payoff with a probability equal to the percentage of correctly answered questions; 3) either the first or the second alternative is selected. The choice of the first (second) alternative reveals overconfidence (underconfidence). The individual is well calibrated if he or she chooses the third alternative. Experimental results show that subjects, on average, exhibit underconfidence about their own knowledge when the incentive compatible mechanism is used. Their confidence in own knowledge does not depend on their attitude towards risk/ambiguity.
    Keywords: Overconfidence, underconfidence, lottery, experiment, risk aversion
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2008–01
  5. By: Dixit Mukund R.; Girja Sharan
    Abstract: This paper identifies and analyses the links in the knowledge journey of an idea to innovation. It tracks the links in the development of customized cartons for packaging tomatoes. The trigger points for the innovation, the milestones crossed by the innovator, the interaction with agencies and actors in the environment, the interests and responses of the agencies and the actors, and the final outcomes were identified. Based on analysis, it conceptualises a model of knowledge journey and develops suggestions for innovators and innovation associates. The suggestions are in the areas of responding to innovation triggering points, learning and leveraging on what is possible and happening, adapting to the constraints of the innovation associates and building flexible systems and structures.
    Date: 2008–01–31
  6. By: Ron Boschma; Simona Iammarino
    Abstract: This paper makes an attempt to estimate the impact of regional variety and trade linkages on regional economic growth by means of export and import data by Italian province (NUTS 3) and sector (3-digit) for the period 1995-2003. Our results show strong evidence of related variety contributing to regional economic growth, no matter how growth is defined. Thus, Italian regions well endowed with sectors that are complementary in terms of competences (i.e. having related variety) perform better. The paper also assesses the effects of the breadth and relatedness of international trade linkages on regional growth, as it may bring new and related variety in the region. Our analysis demonstrates that regional growth is not affected by being well connected to the outside world per se, or having a high variety of knowledge flowing into the region. When the extra-regional knowledge originated from sectors the region is already specialised in, it did not positively impact on regional economic growth either. We found, however, some evidence of related extra-regional knowledge sparking off inter-sectoral learning across regions. With respect to employment growth, we could demonstrate that a region benefits from extra-regional knowledge when it originates from sectors that are related, but not similar to the sectors present in the region. Apparently, when the cognitive proximity between the extra-regional knowledge and the knowledge base of the region is neither too small nor too large, real learning opportunities are present, and the external knowledge contributes to regional employment growth.
    Keywords: related variety, agglomeration economies, trade linkages, regional growth, Italy
    JEL: R11 R12 O18
    Date: 2008–01
  7. By: Jackie Krafft (GREDEG - Groupe de recherche en Droit Economie Gestion - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis); Jacques Laurent Ravix (GREDEG - Groupe de recherche en Droit Economie Gestion - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis)
    Abstract: Today, a growing literature develops on the idea that different types of rules and norms should govern differently entrepreneurial and public firms, depending on the industry in which they operate and the stage of development of the industry. This chapter contributes to this new literature by adding the empirical dimensions that are pointed out in the industry life cycle (ILC) literature. The purpose is to investigate what the governance of the knowledge-intensive firm may look like in an industry life cycle approach.
    Date: 2008–02–05
  8. By: Ulrich Doraszelski; Jordi Jaumandreu
    Abstract: We develop a simple estimator for production functions in the presence of endogenous productivity change that allows us to retrieve productivity and its relationship with R&D at the firm level. By endogenizing the productivity process we build on the recent literature on structural estimation of production functions. Our dynamic investment model can be viewed as a generalization of the knowledge capital model (Griliches 1979) that has remained a cornerstone of the productivity literature for more than 25 years. We relax the assumptions on the R&D process and examine the impact of the investment in knowledge on the productivity of firms. We illustrate our approach on an unbalanced panel of more than 1800 Spanish manufacturing firms in nine industries during the 1990s. Our findings indicate that the link between R&D and productivity is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, nonlinearity, and heterogeneity across firms. By accounting for uncertainty and nonlinearity, we extend the knowledge capital model. Moreover, capturing heterogeneity gives us the ability to assess the role of R&D in determining the differences in productivity across firms and the evolution of firmlevel productivity over time.
    Date: 2007–12
  9. By: Moniz, António; Woll, Tobias
    Abstract: In this working paper is presented information on the Portuguese labour market developed with the support of the European project WORKS-“Work organisation and restructuring in the knowledge society”. Is still a on the process article and thus commentaries are welcome. The structure is based on the following topics: a) The employment policy (Time regimes - time use, flexibility, part-time work, work-life balance -, and the work contracts regimes – wages, contract types, diversity); b) Education and training (skilling outcomes, rules on retraining and further training, employability schemes, transferability of skills); c) Equal opportunities (relevance of equal opportunity regulation for restructuring outcomes, the role of gender and age regulation); d) Restructuring effects (policy on transfer of personnel, policy on redundancies, and participation or voice in restructuring).
    Keywords: labour market; work organisation; knowledge society; employment; policy; Education; gender
    JEL: M12 E24 J31 J21 M54 J48 J82 J68
    Date: 2007–11
  10. By: Giancarlo Corò (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Stefano Micelli (Department of Business, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: This essay examines the situation and the lines of development of industrial districts from the point of view of local systems of innovation. First of all, this article points out to the modernity factors of the district model – which are ascribable to the supply chain economy, to entrepreneurial dynamics and to the importance of geography as a competitive resource – through the analysis of recent contributions of economic literature that examined the emerging organizational models in knowledge economy. Secondly, the outcomes of recent research on leading companies of Italian industrial districts will be presented, looking at three particularly topics of ongoing changes: the process of international opening of the value chain, the technological conditions of competitive advantage, the relationship between strategies and economic performance. Finally, some considerations on the issue of policies will be developed. Such considerations underline the need to re-think the traditional models of local governance of development and suggest to look at the new external district economies, based on service economies, on much more considerable investments in training, technological and cultural activities and, finally, on more aware institutional actions with reference to the association of companies in innovation projects.
    Keywords: Industrial districts, Innovation Systems, Entrepreneurship, Global Value Chain
    JEL: L26
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Paul L. Robertson (University of Tasmania); David Jacobson (Dublin City University); Richard N. Langlois (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In this survey, we examine the operations of innovation processes within industrial districts by exploring the ways in which differentiation, specialization, and integration affect the generation, diffusion, and use of new knowledge in such districts. We begin with an analysis of the importance of the division of labor and then investigate the effects of social embeddedness on innovation. We also consider the effect of forms of organization within industrial districts at various stages of product and process life, and we examine the negative aspects of embeddedness for innovation. We conclude with a discussion of the possible consequences of new information and communications technologies on innovation in industrial districts.
    Keywords: industrial districts, innovation, division of labor, embeddedness, information technology.
    JEL: L14 O31 R11
    Date: 2008–01

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