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Sources of Increasing Returns and Regional Innovation in the UK


  • Suma Athreye
  • David Keeble


This empirical paper investigates the impact of different sources of increasing returns on firm innovative behaviour in different regions of the UK. Of the different sources of increasing returns, the impact of intermediation and the emergence of specialized markets on the probability of innovation is of particular interest to this analysis. The existing literature on regional development in the UK strongly suggests that the South East has many features that may characterize an economy growing with a greater division of labour. These are less evident in the Industrial Heartland region of northern England. Other influences on innovation such as the impact of regional public R&D and dynamic economies to scale due to learning within a firm are also considered. Cet article empirique cherche a examiner l'impact des sources differentes des rendements croissants sur l'innovation des entreprises situees dans diverses regions au Royaume-Uni. Parmi les differentes sources des rendements croissants, il s'avere que les consequences de l'intermediation et l'emergence des marches specialises sur la probabilite de l'innovation sont a noter pour ce qui est de cette analyse. La documentation disponible au sujet du developpement regional au Royaume-Uni laisse vivement supposer que le Sud-est montre beaucoup des traits qui caracterisent une economie qui croit avec une division du travail plus importante. Ces traits-lasont moins evidents dans le berceau industriel qui est le nord du pays. D'autres facteurs qui influent sur l'innovation, tels l'impact de la recherche-developpement publique regionale et les economies d'echelles dynamiques dues a l'apprentissage intra-entreprise, sont aussi consideres. Dieser empirische Aufsatz untersucht die Auswirkung verschiedener Quellen wachsenden Profits dank innovativem Firmenverhalten in verschiedenen Regionen des Vereinigten Konigreichs. Von den verschiedenen Quellen vermehrten Gewinns sind das Aufkommen spezialisierter Markte und die Auswirkung der 'Intermediation' auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit der Innovation von besonderem Interesse fur diese Analyse. Die bereits vorliegende Literatur uber regionale Entwicklung im UK legt es entschieden nahe, dass sich im Sudosten des Landes vielerlei Anzeichen finden, die fur eine Wirtschaft mit starkerer Arbeitsteilung charakteristisch sein konnten. In der Region des industriellen Kernlandes im Norden Englands sind sie weniger zu beobachten. Daruberhinaus werden auch andere Einflusse auf Innovation in Betracht gezogen, wie die Auswirkung regionaler offentlicher Forschung und Entwicklung, sowie dynamische Einsparungen durch erhohte Produktion dank Wissenserwerb in einer Firma.

Suggested Citation

  • Suma Athreye & David Keeble, 2002. "Sources of Increasing Returns and Regional Innovation in the UK," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 345-357.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:36:y:2002:i:4:p:345-357
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400220131124

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. P A Wood & J Bryson & D Keeble, 1993. "Regional Patterns of Small Firm Development in the Business Services: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 25(5), pages 677-700, May.
    2. Suma Athreye & David Keeble, 2001. "Specialised Markets and the Behaviour of Firms: Evidence from the UK's Regional Economies," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 33, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    3. Bryson, John R & Keeble, David & Wood, Peter, 1997. "The Creation and Growth of Small Business Service Firms in Post-industrial Britain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 345-360, August.
    4. P.N. O'Farrell & D.M. Hitchens & L.A.R. Moffat, 1993. "The Competitiveness of Business Services and Regional Development: Evidence from Scotland and the South East of England," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(10), pages 1629-1652, December.
    5. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-1171, September.
    6. Vivarelli, Marco & Evangelista, Rinaldo & Pianta, Mario, 1996. "Innovation and employment in Italian manufacturing industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1013-1026, October.
    7. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
    8. P A Wood & J Bryson & D Keeble, 1993. "Regional patterns of small firm development in the business services: evidence from the United Kingdom," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(5), pages 677-700, May.
    9. Suma Athreye, 1997. "On Markets in Knowledge," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 1(2), pages 231-253, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimitratos, Pavlos & Liouka, Ioanna & Young, Stephen, 2009. "Regional location of multinational corporation subsidiaries and economic development contribution: Evidence from the UK," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 180-191, April.
    2. Ghatak, Subrata & Watkins, Rob, 2001. "Small and medium size enterprises: innovation and growth in the UK and Poland," Economics Discussion Papers 2001-3, School of Economics, Kingston University London.

    More about this item


    Increasing Returns And Growth; Specialized Markets Public; R And D Innovation; By Firms; Regional Innovation; Regional Development;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services


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