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Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Regional Economic Growth


  • Koen Frenken
  • Frank Van Oort
  • Thijs Verburg


Frenken K., Van Oort F. and Verburg T. (2007) Related variety, unrelated variety and regional economic growth, Regional Studies 41, 685-697. In economic theory, one can distinguish between variety as a source of regional knowledge spillovers, called Jacobs externalities, and variety as a portfolio protecting a region from external shocks. It is argued that Jacobs externalities are best measured by related variety (within sectors), while the portfolio argument is better captured by unrelated variety (between sectors). A methodology based on entropy measures is introduced to compute related variety and unrelated variety. Using data at the NUTS 3 level in the Netherlands for 1996-2002, it was found that Jacobs externalities enhance employment growth, while unrelated variety dampens unemployment growth. Productivity growth can be explained by traditional determinants including investments and research and development expenditures. Implications for regional policy follow. Frenken K., Van Oort F. et Verburg T. (2007) La variete connexe, la variete sans rapport et la croissance economique regionale., Regional Studies 41, 685-697. Dans la theorie economique, on peut distinguer entre la variete comme la source des retombees de connaissance regionales, dites les effets externes de Jacob, et la variete comme un portefeuille qui protege la region des chocs externes. On affirme que l'on peut mieux mesurer les effets externes de Jacob a partir de la notion de variete connexe (au sein des secteurs), tandis que l'argument qui prone plutot la notion de portefeuille est mieux saisi par la notion de variete sans rapport (entre les secteurs). On presente une methodologie fondee sur des mesures d'entropie afin d'estimer la variete connexe et la variete sans rapport. A partir des donnees au niveau NUTS 3 aupres des Pays-Bas pour la periode de 1996 a 2002, on trouve que les effets externes de Jacob augmentent la croissance de l'emploi, alors que la variete sans rapport attenue la croissance du chomage. La croissance de la productivite s'explique par des determinants traditionnels, y compris l'investissement et les depenses de recherche-developpement. Il s'ensuit les implications pour la politique regionale. Variete Croissance; Effets externes de Jacob; Economies d'agglomeration; Retombees Entropie Frenken K., Van Oort F. und Verburg T. (2007) Zusammenhangende Vielfalt, nicht zusammenhangende Vielfalt und regionales Wirtschaftswachstum, Regional Studies 41, 685-697. In der Wirtschaftstheorie unterscheidet man zwischen der Vielfalt als Quelle regionaler Wissensubertragung (den so genannten Jacobs-Externalitaten) und der Vielfalt als Portfolio zum Schutz einer Region vor externen Erschutterungen. Wir stellen die These auf, dass sich die Jacobs-Externalitaten am besten anhand der zusammenhangenden Vielfalt (innerhalb von Sektoren) messen lassen, wahrend sich das Portfolio-Argument besser durch nicht zusammenhangende Vielfalt (zwischen verschiedenen Sektoren) darstellen lasst. Mit Hilfe einer Methodologie auf der Grundlage entropischer Messungen ermitteln wir zusammenhangende Vielfalt und nicht zusammenhangende Vielfalt. Anhand von Daten auf dem NUTS 3-Niveau in den Niederlanden fur den Zeitraum von 1996 bis 2002 stellen wir fest, dass die Jacobs-Externalitaten zu einem Anstieg des Beschaftigungsniveaus fuhren, wahrend nicht zusammenhangende Vielfalt den Anstieg der Arbeitslosigkeit dampft. Der Anstieg der Produktivitat lasst sich durch traditionelle Determinanten wie Investitionen und Ausgaben fur F&E erklaren. Im Anschluss werden die Konsequenzen fur die Regionalpolitik beschrieben. Vielfalt; Wachstum; Jacobs-Externalitaten; Agglomerationswirtschaften; U¨bertragung; Entropie; Frenken K., Van Oort F. y Verburg T. (2007) Variedad relacionada, variedad no relacionada y el crecimiento economico regional, Regional Studies 41, 685-697. En la teoria economica, podemos distinguir entre la variedad como una fuente de desbordamientos de conocimiento regionales, llamados externalidades Jacobs, y la variedad como una cartera que protege una region de choques externos. Sostenemos que las externalidades Jacobs se miden mejor segun la variedad relacionada (dentro de los sectores), mientras que el argumento de la cartera se capta mejor con una variedad no relacionada (entre sectores). Para calcular la variedad relacionada y la variedad no relacionada, introducimos una metodologia basada en las medidas de entropia. Usando datos en el nivel NUTS 3 en los Paises Bajos para el periodo 1996-2002, observamos que las externalidades Jacobs aumentan el crecimiento de empleo mientras que la variedad no relacionada desestimula el crecimiento de desempleo. El crecimiento de productividad puede explicarse mediante determinantes tradicionales incluyendo las inversiones y los gastos en I + D. Tambien explicamos las implicaciones para la politica regional. Variedad; Crecimiento; Externalidades Jacobs; Economias de aglomeracion; Desbordamiento; Entropia

Suggested Citation

  • Koen Frenken & Frank Van Oort & Thijs Verburg, 2007. "Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Regional Economic Growth," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 685-697.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:41:y:2007:i:5:p:685-697
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400601120296

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Koen Frenken & Frank G. van Oort & Thijs Verburg & Ron A. Boschma, 2004. "Variety and regional economic growth in the Netherlands," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0502, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Dec 2004.
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