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KIBS and industrial development of cities.Labour mobility, innovation and client interaction


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  • Heidi Wiig Aslesen


  • Arne Isaksen


  • Lasse Sigbjørn Stambøl


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    The paper departs from a seemingly disagreement between theoretical propositions stressing the importance of the KIBS sector as an innovation agent, and empirical results from quantitative innovation surveys. KIBS are increasingly seen to have a strategic role in stimulating innovation processes, particularly in large cities. However, the alleged importance of KIBS does not show up in empirical surveys. The surveys generally regard KIBS (or consultancy firms) to be of less importance as information sources and innovation partners. The paper somewhat supports the conclusions from the empirical surveys, pointing to the fact that parts of the literature attach larger importance to the role of KIBS in innovation processes than can be confirmed by empirical results. However, the low importance attached to KIBS in quantitative surveys may rely on the fact that surveys only seize some of the roles played by KIBS in innovation processes. Surveys do not map, for example, knowledge spillovers occurring through the mobility of workers. The paper demonstrates that many workers left the KIBS sector in Norway to start working in other sectors during parts of the 1990s, signifying a flow of knowledge following the workers out of the KIBS sector. However, the paper also demonstrates that the flow of knowledge via labour mobility first of all benefits the most central parts of Norway. Less knowledge is seen to flow from the KIBS sector in Oslo and the other large cities to other industries and other parts of the country.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa04p475.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p475

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    1. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
    2. Lasse Sigbjørn Stambøl, 2003. "Urban and regional labour mobility performance in Norway," ERSA conference papers, European Regional Science Association ersa03p364, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
    4. Nijkamp, P. & Abreu, M., 2009. "Regional development theory," Serie Research Memoranda, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics 0029, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    5. Birgitte Gregersen & Bjorn Johnson, 1997. "Learning Economies, Innovation Systems and European Integration," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(5), pages 479-490.
    6. Grete Rusten, 2000. "Geography of outsourcing: business service provisions among firms in Norway," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 91(2), pages 122-134, 05.
    7. Desmarchelier, Benoît & Djellal, Faridah & Gallouj, Faïz, 2013. "Knowledge intensive business services and long term growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 188-205.
    8. Edward E. Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," NBER Working Papers 8450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Arne Isaksen & Bjørn T. Asheim, . "Location, agglomeration and innovation: Towards regional innovation systems in Norway?," STEP Report series, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy 199613, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
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