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Social Capital and the Innovative Performance of Italian Provinces

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  • Riccardo Crescenzi

    (Department of Geography and Environment and SERC, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, England)

  • Luisa Gagliardi

    (Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, England)

  • Marco Percoco

    (Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management, Università Bocconi, Via Sarfatti, 25 Milan, Italy)

Abstract

Social capital has remained relatively underexplored in innovation literature due to the lack of consensus on the most suitable operationalisation for the analysis of innovative dynamics. This paper aims to fill this gap by looking at social capital as propensity towards civicness and prosocial behaviour that facilitates the circulation of nonredundant knowledge among otherwise disconnected groups. The quantitative analysis of the innovative performance of Italian provinces shows that social capital—proxied by blood donations and participation into voluntary associations—is an important predictor of innovative performance after controlling for ‘traditional’ knowledge inputs (R&D and human capital). In addition, instrumental variable analysis makes it possible to identify clear causal links between social capital and innovation, suggesting that social norms play an important role in shaping the incentives for knowledge generation, circulation, and accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Crescenzi & Luisa Gagliardi & Marco Percoco, 2013. "Social Capital and the Innovative Performance of Italian Provinces," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 45(4), pages 908-929, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:45:y:2013:i:4:p:908-929
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    Cited by:

    1. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Nathan, Max & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2016. "Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 177-194.
    2. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrea Filippetti & Simona Iammarino, 2017. "Academic inventors: collaboration and proximity with industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 730-762, August.
    3. Roberto Antonietti & Ron Boschma, 2018. "Social capital, resilience and regional diversification in Italy," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1804, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2018.
    4. İ. Semih Akçomak & Hanna Müller-Zick, 2018. "Trust and inventive activity in Europe: causal, spatial and nonlinear forces," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 60(3), pages 529-568, May.
    5. Charlie Karlsson & Urban Gråsjö & Sofia Wixe (ed.), 2015. "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15906.
    6. Neil Lee, 2017. "Psychology and the Geography of Innovation," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 93(2), pages 106-130, March.
    7. Riccardo Crescenzi & Luisa Gagliardi & Enrico Orru', 2016. "Learning mobility grants and skill (mis)matching in the labour market: The case of the ‘Master and Back’ Programme," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 693-707, November.
    8. Luisa Gagliardi, 2015. "Does skilled migration foster innovative performance? Evidence from British local areas," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(4), pages 773-794, November.
    9. Christoph Hauser, 2015. "Effects of Employee Social Capital on Wage Satisfaction, Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment," Working Papers 2015-12, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    10. Matthias Siller & Christoph Hauser & Janette Walde & Gottfried Tappeiner, 2015. "Measuring regional innovation in one dimension: More lost than gained?," Working Papers 2015-14, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    11. Nicola Cortinovis & Jing Xiao & Ron Boschma & Frank G van Oort, 2017. "Quality of government and social capital as drivers of regional diversification in Europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1179-1208.
    12. Jesús Peiró-Palomino, 2016. "European regional convergence revisited: the role of intangible assets," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 57(1), pages 165-194, July.
    13. Ascani, Andrea & Balland, Pierre-Alexandre & Morrison, Andrea, 2020. "Heterogeneous foreign direct investment and local innovation in Italian Provinces," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 388-401.
    14. Silje Haus-Reve & Abigail Cooke, 2019. "Do regional social capital and trust matter for immigrant diversity and wages?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1932, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2019.
    15. R. Arbolino & R. Boffardi, 2017. "The Role of Regional Institutions in Research and Innovation Investments of Italy's Cohesion Policy," Rivista economica del Mezzogiorno, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1-2, pages 167-192.
    16. Roberto Antonietti & Maria Rosaria Ferrante & Riccardo Leoncini, 2015. "Infrastructure endowment, social capital and outsourcing: evidence from Emilia Romagna, Italy," Chapters, in: Charlie Karlsson & Urban Gråsjö & Sofia Wixe (ed.), Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy, chapter 13, pages 310-330, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Marques, Pedro & Morgan, Kevin, 2020. "Innovation without regional development? The complex interplay of innovation, institutions and development," Papers in Innovation Studies 2020/3, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation Research.
    18. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Gagliardi, Luisa, 2018. "The innovative performance of firms in heterogeneous environments: The interplay between external knowledge and internal absorptive capacities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 782-795.
    19. Hauser, Christoph & Siller, Matthias & Schatzer, Thomas & Walde, Janette & Tappeiner, Gottfried, 2018. "Measuring regional innovation: A critical inspection of the ability of single indicators to shape technological change," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 43-55.
    20. Iammarino, Simona & Guy, Frederick & Filippetti, Andrea, 2019. "Regional disparities in the effect of training on employment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87466, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    21. Calcagnini, Giorgio & Perugini, Francesco, 2019. "Social capital and well-being in the Italian provinces," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    22. Michele Capriati & Marialuisa Divella, 2017. "Why growth rates differ? Path of innovation in Italian provinces," Working Papers 1702, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    23. Luca Pennacchio & Giuseppe Piroli & Otello Ardovino, 2018. "The Role of R&D Cooperation in Firm Innovation," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(01), pages 1-27, February.
    24. Marco Percoco, 2015. "Entrepreneurship, Family Ties, and Land Inequality: Evidence from Italy," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 443-457, September.
    25. Luis Carvalho & Mario Vale, 2018. "Biotech by Bricolage? Agency, institutional relatedness and new path development in peripheral regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1801, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2018.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    innovation; social capital; knowledge transfer; regional development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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