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The Role of Specialisation and Diversity Externalities in the Agglomeration of Innovative Activities


  • Paci Raffaele
  • Usai Stefano


This paper contributes to the analysis of the process of spatial agglomeration of innovative activities by investigating directly its determinants. Our main purpose is to identify the extent to which the degree of industrial specialisation or diversity in a region may affect the innovative output in a particular local industry. Moreover, we test if any relevant difference arises with respect to the role of diversity in metropolitan areas and in high-tech sectors. The analysis was carried out thanks to an original databank on innovation and production across Italian local labour systems (see According to the estimation results there are clear signs of the two types of externalities working simultaneously: Marshall externalities (or localisation economies), associated to industrial specialisation within the sector and also within the science base cluster; and Jacobs externalities (or urbanisation economies), associated to the degree of diversity of both the local districts and the science base cluster. Moreover, industrial diversity in the local system plays a different role depending on the dimension of the local system (whether it is a metropolitan area or not) and on the type of industry (high vs. low tech sectors).

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  • Paci Raffaele & Usai Stefano, 2000. "The Role of Specialisation and Diversity Externalities in the Agglomeration of Innovative Activities," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 237-268.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:jqat1f:doi:10.1427/3676:y:2000:i:2:p:237-268

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Fritsch & Viktor Slavtchev, 2007. "What determines the efficiency of regional innovation systems?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. M. Musumeci, 2000. "Innovazione tecnologica e beni culturali. Uno studio sulla situazione della Sicilia," Working Paper CRENoS 200008, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    3. LR. Keller & E. Strazzera, 2000. "Examining predictive models among discounting models," Working Paper CRENoS 200005, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    4. Rosina Moreno & Raffaele Paci & Stefano Usai, 2005. "Geographical and sectoral clusters of innovation in Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 39(4), pages 715-739, December.
    5. Beaudry, Catherine & Schiffauerova, Andrea, 2009. "Who's right, Marshall or Jacobs? The localization versus urbanization debate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 318-337, March.
    6. Luca Pieroni & Fabrizio Pompei, 2005. "Innovations and Labour Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis of the Italian Case in the middle 90’s," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 12/2005, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia.
    7. R. Naylor, 2001. "Industry profits and market size under bilateral oligopoly," Working Paper CRENoS 200108, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    8. Rosina Moreno & Raffaele Paci & Stefano Usai, 2004. "Innovation and production clusters in Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa04p587, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Baltzopoulos, Apostolos, 2009. "Agglomeration Externalities and Entrepreneurship - micro-level evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 190, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    10. Nunzia Carbonara & Ilaria Giannoccaro, 2011. "Geographical Cluster Heterogeneity and Competitive Advantage: evidence from Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1414, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Yoshihiro Kameyama, 2011. "Effects of Technological Networks of Small and Medium-sized Firms on their R&D Activities in Shihwa Industrial Complex, Korea: Toward Industrial Cluster Formation and Regional Integration," Chapters,in: Industrial Clusters, Upgrading and Innovation in East Asia, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Raffaello Bronzini, 2004. "Foreign Direct Investment and Agglomeration: Evidence from Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa04p321, European Regional Science Association.
    13. R. Naylor, 2001. "Firm profits and the number of firms under unionised oligopoly," Working Paper CRENoS 200109, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    14. Paci, Raffaele & Usai, Stefano, 2000. "Externalities, Knowledge Spillovers And The Spatial Distribution Of Innovation," ERSA conference papers ersa00p104, European Regional Science Association.
    15. Anna Ferragina & Fernanda Mazzotta, 2015. "Agglomeration economies in Italy: impact on heterogeneous firms’ exit in a multilevel framework," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(4), pages 395-440, December.
    16. Luca Pieroni & Fabrizio Pompei, 2008. "Evaluating innovation and labour market relationships: the case of Italy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 325-347, March.
    17. C. Antonelli & R. Marchionatti & S. Usai, 2000. "Productivity and External Knowledge: The Italian Case," Working Paper CRENoS 200009, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    18. Giulio Cainelli & Eleonora Di Maria & Roberto Ganau, 2011. "Agglomeration, related-variety and internationalisation. Does a relationship exist?," Openloc Working Papers 1114, Public policies and local development.
    19. M. Bellinzas, 2004. "Dinamiche demografiche, agglomerazione e determinanti economiche. Il caso italiano," Working Paper CRENoS 200407, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    20. R. Pala & E. Marrocu & R. Paci, 2000. "Estimation of total factor productivity for regions and sectors in Italy. A panel cointegration approach," Working Paper CRENoS 200016, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    21. Roberto Ganau & Eleonora Di Maria, 2014. "Determinants of technological innovation in SMEs. Firm-level factors, agglomeration economies and the role of KIBS providers," ERSA conference papers ersa14p820, European Regional Science Association.
    22. S. Lodde, 1999. "Nuova teoria della crescita e sviluppo locale: alcune possibili connessioni," Working Paper CRENoS 199916, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    23. Giulio Caianelli & Riccardo Leoncini & Anna Montini, 2001. "Struttura produttiva e sviluppo regionale di lungo periodo in Italia," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 54(216), pages 461-485.
    24. Nunzia Carbonara, 2012. "Industrial district hetereogeneity and performance: evidence from Italy," Chapters,in: Entrepreneurship, Social Capital and Governance, chapter 4, pages 83-101 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    25. Muriel Fadairo & Nadine Massard, 2009. "The geography of innovation : challenge to technology policy within regions," Working Papers hal-00377007, HAL.

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