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Constructing Regional Advantage and Smart Specialisation: Comparison of Two European Policy Concepts

  • Ron Boschma

This paper discusses two influential policy concepts at the European level that aim to promote economic diversification of regions, that is the Constructing Regional Advantage concept (CRA) and the Smart Specialisation concept (SS). Both policy frameworks identify and prioritise ‘promising’ targets for policy intervention, but they do so differently. The SS concept organizes this identification process through entrepreneurial discovery in which entrepreneurs select the domains of future specialisation. The CRA concept focuses on identifying related variety and bottlenecks that prevent related industries in regions to connect and interact. The paper argues that the two policy concepts can provide useful inputs to develop a smart and comprehensive policy design that focuses on true economic renewal in regions.

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Article provided by FrancoAngeli Editore in its journal SCIENZE REGIONALI.

Volume (Year): 2014/1 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 51-68

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Handle: RePEc:fan:scresc:v:html10.3280/scre2014-001004
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  1. Fritsch, Michael & Stephan, Andreas, 2005. "Regionalization of innovation policy--Introduction to the special issue," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1123-1127, October.
  2. Frank Neffke & Martin Henning & Ron Boschma, 2011. "How Do Regions Diversify over Time? Industry Relatedness and the Development of New Growth Paths in Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 87(3), pages 237-265, 07.
  3. Boschma, Ron & Heimeriks, Gaston & Balland, Pierre-Alexandre, 2014. "Scientific knowledge dynamics and relatedness in biotech cities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-114.
  4. Ricardo Hausmann & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," NBER Working Papers 8952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ron Boschma, 2004. "Competitiveness of Regions from an Evolutionary Perspective," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 1001-1014.
  6. Bjørn Asheim & Ron A. Boschma & Philip Cooke, 2007. "Constructing regional advantage: Platform policies based on related variety and differentiated knowledge bases," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0709, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Nov 2007.
  7. Todtling, Franz & Trippl, Michaela, 2005. "One size fits all?: Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1203-1219, October.
  8. Ron Boschma & Asier Minondo & Mikel Navarro, 2012. "Related variety and regional growth in Spain," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 241-256, 06.
  9. Ron Boschma & Asier Minondo & Mikel Navarro, 2012. "The emergence of new industries at the regional level in Spain. A proximity approach based on product-relatedness," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1201, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jan 2012.
  10. Jan G. Lambooy & Ron Boschma, 1998. "Evolutionary economics and regional policy," ERSA conference papers ersa98p489, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro, 2012. "The emergence of new technology-based sectors at the regional level: a proximity-based analysis of nanotechnology," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1211, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jun 2012.
  12. Iammarino, Simona & McCann, Philip, 2006. "The structure and evolution of industrial clusters: Transactions, technology and knowledge spillovers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1018-1036, September.
  13. Robert Hassink & Arnoud Lagendijk, 2001. "The dilemmas of interregional institutional learning," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(1), pages 65-84, February.
  14. Philip McCann & Raquel Ortega-Argilés, 2011. "Smart specialisation, regional growth and applications to EU cohesion policy," Working Papers 2011/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  15. Oughton, Christine & Landabaso, Mikel & Morgan, Kevin, 2002. " The Regional Innovation Paradox: Innovation Policy and Industrial Policy," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 97-110, January.
  16. Ron Boschma & Simona Iammarino, 2009. "Related Variety, Trade Linkages, and Regional Growth in Italy," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 289-311, 07.
  17. Howells, Jeremy, 2005. "Innovation and regional economic development: A matter of perspective?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1220-1234, October.
  18. Kevin Morgan, 2013. "The regional state in the era of Smart Specialisation," EKONOMIAZ, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 83(02), pages 103-126.
  19. Gerhard Wegner, 1997. "Economic Policy From an Evolutionary Perspective: A New Approach," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(3), pages 485-, September.
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