The Location of ICT activities in EU regions. Implications for regional policies
The location of ICT producing industries does matter for global competitivenessand long-run growth potential. For instance, the differing contribution ofICT to economic growth between the US and the EU is often mentioned as one of themain cause explaining the diverging growth performance of these two areas since themid-1990s. In turn, since the mid-1990s, countries with especially dynamic economicgrowth have tended to be highly specialized in ICT-producing and ICT-using industries,see van Ark and Inkaar (2005). More generally, ICT producing sectors, tendto promote technological change and innovative capability which are seen to be at thecore of economic growth and competitiveness. When considering the EU economy,ICT industries appear to be concentrated in a limited number of regions, see Koski etal. (2002) for empirical evidence. Afirst objective of the present paper is to documentthe location of ICT producing industries in European regions in order to map existingEU clusters as well as to analyze recent changes in these industries using recent dataon employment and firm location, especially in relation to the EU enlargement thathas taken place in May 2004. The location of the ICT-producing sectors is not the endof the story however. A crucial aspect concerns the nature of activities that are beingundertaken in different regions. Importantly, ICT industries do have different characteristicsin terms of human capital, skill requirement, and knowledge content. In particular,because of the positive association between human capital, knowledge andlong-run growth, it is important to analyze to what extent EU regional ICT clustersdiffer in according to these characteristics. The second question addressed in the paperconcerns the nature of ICT activities undertaken in EU regions. Finally, the paperprovides econometric estimates of the location of firms in ICT industries across EUregions. The paper considers more specifically the case of multinationals’ location.Results on the determinants of firms’ location appear to differ widely depending on the ICT sector considered as well as the type of companies considered. A number ofpolicy implications are derived from these results
Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): 13 ()
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