Modeling Knowledge Networks in Economic Geography: A Discussion of Four Empirical Strategies
AbstractThe importance of network structures for the transmission of knowledge and the diffusion of technological change has been emphasized in economic geography. Since network structures drive the innovative and economic performance of actors in regional contexts, it is crucial to explain how networks form and evolve over time and how they facilitate inter-organizational learning and knowledge transfer. The analysis of relational dependent variables, however, requires specific statistical procedures. In this paper, we discuss four different models that have been used in economic geography to explain the spatial context of network structures and their dynamics. First, we review gravity models and their recent extensions and modifications to deal with the specific characteristics of networked relations. Second, we discuss the quadratic assignment procedure that has been developed in mathematical sociology for diminishing the bias induced by network dependencies. Third, we present exponential random graph models that not only allow dependence between observations, but also model such network dependencies explicitly. Finally, we deal with dynamic networks, by introducing stochastic actor oriented models. Strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches are discussed together with domains of applicability for the analysis of (knowledge) network structures and their dynamics.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 1325.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision: Dec 2013
Economic geography; knowledge networks; network models; quadratic assignment procedure; gravity model; exponential random graph model; stochastic actor-oriented model;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-12-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2013-12-15 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-GEO-2013-12-15 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-KNM-2013-12-15 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-NET-2013-12-15 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SBM-2013-12-15 (Small Business Management)
- NEP-URE-2013-12-15 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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