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Technological enclaves and industrial districts. An analysis of the regional distributions of innovative activity in Europe

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  • R. Paci

    ()

  • S. Usai

    ()

Abstract

This paper explores the spatial distribution of innovative and productive activity across 109 regions of the European Union, thanks to an original databank on regional patents statistics. The main results worth highlighting are as follows. The technological activity in the EU appears to be highly concentrated, although concentration tends to decline over the eighties. This results from the huge differences between southern and northern Europe. As expected, there is a positive association between the regional distribution of innovative activity and labour productivity. Further, contrary to previous evidence on the United States, our data show a significant link between the specialisation in innovation and in production both at the country and at the industry level. This suggests that localised knowledge spillovers and agglomeration economies foster a local economic system towards a specialisation in both production and technology. More surprisingly there appears a negative correlation between technological concentration and aggregate productivity, that is the European regions which enjoy a more homogeneous distribution of their technological capability across different industrial sectors appear to be also characterised by a higher productivity level. This outcome may suggest the presence of positive inter-industry externalities that favour those regions which succeed in covering a broader range of technological activities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 199708.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:199708

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Keywords: innovative activity; european regions; technological specialisation; productive specialisation;

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  1. Brusco, Sebastiano, 1982. "The Emilian Model: Productive Decentralisation and Social Integration," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 167-84, June.
  2. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
  3. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
  4. R. Paci, 1996. "More similar and less equal. Economic growth in the European regions," Working Paper CRENoS 199609, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  5. Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 1996. "Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 431-448, 09.
  6. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  7. Ariel Pakes & Zvi Griliches, 1980. "Patents and R and D at the Firm Level: A First Look," NBER Working Papers 0561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sergio Nardis & Alessandro Goglio & Marco Malgarini, 1996. "Regional specialization and shocks in Europe: Some evidence from regional data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 197-214, September.
  9. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Tamura, Robert, 1996. "Regional economies and market integration," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 825-845, May.
  11. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
  13. Daniel Coronado Guerrero & Manuel Acosta Sero, 1997. "Spatial Distribution of Patents in Spain: Determining Factors and Consequences on Regional Development," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 381-390.
  14. Stefano Breschi, 2000. "The Geography of Innovation: A Cross-sector Analysis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 213-229.
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