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Local Diversity, Human Creativity, and Technological Innovation

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  • Pierre Desrochers

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to point out some shortcomings of traditional approaches to the study of "knowledge spillovers" and to suggest an alternative based on how knowledge is actually created and exchanged by individuals. Which regional setting is the best incubator of technological change and economic growth? Is this promoted by regional diversity or specialization of economi activity? This study will include economic analyses of geographically localized "dynamic knowledge externalities, Jacob's externalities, or adding new work to old, industrial classification and technology combination, human creativity, and technology combination through human action and imaginative use of resources. Employees add to, or switch their product line; individuals move from one type of production to another; individuals observe a product/process in another setting and incorporate it; individuals possessing different skills and working for different firms collaborate; and urban diversity and resource collaboration are utilized. It is concluded that problems are solved through the combination of previously unrelated things and that promoting regional specialization at the expense of spontaneously evolved local diversity might be a counter-productive policy. Copyright 2001 Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky.

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  • Pierre Desrochers, 2001. "Local Diversity, Human Creativity, and Technological Innovation," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 369-394.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:32:y:2001:i:3:p:369-394
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    Cited by:

    1. Backman, Mikaela & Kohlhase, Janet, 2013. "The Influence of Diversity on the Formation, Survival and Growth of New Firms," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 337, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Michael Fritsch & Michael Stützer, 2012. "The Geography of Creative People in Germany revisited," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-065, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    3. Pier Luigi Sacco & Guido Ferilli & Giorgio Tavano Blessi & Massimiliano Nuccio, 2013. "Culture as an Engine of Local Development Processes: System-Wide Cultural Districts I: Theory," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 555-570, December.
    4. Charlie Karlsson, 2011. "Clusters, Networks and Creativity," Chapters,in: Handbook of Creative Cities, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Andersson, Martin & Ejermo, Olof, 2004. "Sectoral Knowledge Production in Swedish Regions 1993-1999," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 5, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    6. Tom Broekel & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "Regional factors and innovativeness: an empirical analysis of four German industries," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 47(1), pages 169-194, August.
    7. Dirk Oberschachtsiek, 2013. "Human Capital Diversity and Entrepreneurship. Results from the regional individual skill dispersion nexus on self-employment activity," Working Paper Series in Economics 289, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    8. Andersson, Martin & Larsson, Johan P. & Wernberg, Joakim, 2017. "The Economic Microgeography of Diversity and Specialization," Working Paper Series 1167, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    9. Edward Nissan & George Carter, 2009. "Specialization of state sectoral employment," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 33(2), pages 148-160, April.
    10. Martin Andersson & Johan P Larsson & Joakim Lundblad, 2015. "The Productive City Needs both - localization and urbanization economies across spatial scales in the city," ERSA conference papers ersa15p385, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Pierre Desrochers & Samuli Leppälä, 2011. "Creative Environments: The Case for Local Economic Diversity," Chapters,in: Handbook of Creative Cities, chapter 21 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Fikri Zul Fahmi, 2016. "Business networks, social capital and the productivity of creative industries in Indonesia," ERSA conference papers ersa16p351, European Regional Science Association.
    13. Wixe, Sofia, 2014. "Firm Knowledge, Neighborhood Diversity and Innovation," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 360, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    14. Sebastien Chantelot & Peres Stephanie & Virol Stephane, 2011. "From Talent to Creative City: Towards a conceptual framework," ERSA conference papers ersa11p373, European Regional Science Association.
    15. Shu-Hen Chiang, 2014. "The dilemma of "Twin Cities": is the suburban dependence hypothesis applicable?," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 149-163, June.
    16. Westlund , Hans & Andersson, Martin & Karlsson, Charlie, 2013. "Creativity as an integral element of social capital and its role for economic performance," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 330, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    17. Martin Fiszbein, 2017. "Agricultural Diversity, Structural Change and Long-run Development: Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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