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Related and unrelated variety as regional drivers of enterprise productivity and innovation: A multilevel study

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  • Aarstad, Jarle
  • Kvitastein, Olav A.
  • Jakobsen, Stig-Erik

Abstract

We conduct multilevel analyses of Norwegian data and find that related industrial variety is a positive regional driver of enterprise innovation. Unrelated variety is a negative regional driver of enterprise productivity. This implies that regions with high levels of related variety and low levels of unrelated variety optimize enterprise performance. We argue that regional specialization is a two-dimensional construct inversely associated with related and unrelated variety. Thus, a specialized region (low in unrelated variety) is in fact a driver of enterprise productivity. In addition, we find that population density is another regional driver of enterprise productivity.

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  • Aarstad, Jarle & Kvitastein, Olav A. & Jakobsen, Stig-Erik, 2016. "Related and unrelated variety as regional drivers of enterprise productivity and innovation: A multilevel study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 844-856.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:4:p:844-856
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.01.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Jarle Aarstad & Olav Andreas Kvitastein & Stig-Erik Jakobsen, 2019. "What Drives Enterprise Product Innovation? Assessing How Regional, National, And International Inter-Firm Collaboration Complement Or Substitute For R&D Investments," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(05), pages 1-25, June.
    2. S. Stavropoulos & F. G. Oort & M. J. Burger, 2020. "Heterogeneous relatedness and firm productivity," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 65(2), pages 403-437, October.
    3. Naldi, Lucia & Criaco, Giuseppe & Patel, Pankaj C., 2020. "Related and unrelated industry variety and the internationalization of start-ups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(10).
    4. Ejdemo, Thomas & Örtqvist, Daniel, 2020. "Related variety as a driver of regional innovation and entrepreneurship: A moderated and mediated model with non-linear effects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(7).
    5. Muddassar Sarfraz & Wang Qun & Syed Ghulam Meran Shah & Zeeshan Fareed, 2019. "Do Hierarchical Jumps in CEO Succession Invigorate Innovation? Evidence from Chinese Economy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-21, April.
    6. Marte C.W. Solheim & Ron Boschma & Sverre Herstad, 2018. "Related variety, unrelated variety and the novelty content of firm innovation in urban and non-urban locations," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1836, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2018.
    7. Haus-Reve, Silje & Fitjar, Rune Dahl & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2019. "Does combining different types of collaboration always benefit firms? Collaboration, complementarity and product innovation in Norway," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1476-1486.
    8. Randolph Luca Bruno & Elodie Douarin & Julia Korosteleva & Slavo Radosevic, 2019. "Determinants of Productivity Gap in the European Union: A Multilevel Perspective," LEM Papers Series 2019/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    9. Xiaozhen Qin & Shan Li & Weipan Xu & Xun Li, 2019. "Which Export Variety Matters for Urban Economic Growth, Related or Unrelated Variety?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(16), pages 1-19, August.
    10. Solheim, Marte C.W. & Boschma, Ron & Herstad, Sverre J., 2020. "Collected worker experiences and the novelty content of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1).
    11. Yue Dai & Nan Li & Rongrong Gu & Xiaodong Zhu, 2018. "Can China’s Carbon Emissions Trading Rights Mechanism Transform its Manufacturing Industry? Based on the Perspective of Enterprise Behavior," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-16, July.
    12. Damián Tojeiro-Rivero & Rosina Moreno & Erika Raquel Badillo, 2019. "Radical Innovations: The Role of Knowledge Acquisition from Abroad," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 55(2), pages 173-207, September.
    13. Sverre J. Herstad, 2018. "Beyond ‘related variety’: how inflows of skills shape innovativeness in different industries," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2), pages 396-420, February.
    14. Jarle Aarstad & Stig-Erik Jakobsen, 2020. "Norwegian Firms’ Green and New Industry Strategies: A Dual Challenge," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-14, January.
    15. Yeon, Jung-In & Pyka, Andreas & Kim, Tai-Yoo, 2016. "Structural shift and increasing variety in Korea, 1960-2010: Empirical evidence of the economic development model by the creation of new sectors," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 13-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    16. Taelim Choi & Jeong-Il Park, 2020. "Related variety and productivity in the environmental industry: establishment-level evidence from South Korea," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 287-295, December.
    17. Feng, Suling & Sui, Bo & Liu, Huimin & Li, Guoxiang, 2020. "Environmental decentralization and innovation in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 660-674.
    18. Mikhail Martynovich & Josef Taalbi, 2020. "Related variety, recombinant knowledge and regional innovation. Evidence for Sweden, 1991-2010," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2015, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Mar 2020.
    19. João Romão, 2020. "Variety, Smart Specialization and Tourism Competitiveness," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(14), pages 1-13, July.
    20. Barbieri, Nicolò & Consoli, Davide, 2019. "Regional diversification and green employment in US metropolitan areas," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 693-705.
    21. Liang, Jiaochen & Goetz, Stephan J., 2018. "Technology intensity and agglomeration economies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1990-1995.
    22. Jeroen Content & Koen Frenken, 2016. "Related variety and economic development: a literature review," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(12), pages 2097-2112, December.
    23. Raphaël Suire, 2016. "Place, platform, and knowledge co-production dynamics: Evidence from makers and FabLab," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1623, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2016.
    24. Park, Jeong-Il, 2020. "Industrial diversity in building units and factors associated with diversity: A case study of the Seoul Metropolitan Area," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(5).
    25. Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Porto Gómez, Igone & Aguirre Larracoechea, Urko, 2020. "Technological diversification: a matter of related or unrelated varieties?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).

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