Is Europe becoming a knowledge-driven economy? Evidence from EU developed regions
In this paper, a set of knowledge base indicators are used as explanatory variables of the 1995-2002 growth performances of 150 NUTSII regions belonging to ten countries of the former EU15. Their impact is estimated by controlling for the initial levels of the dependent variables, the structural features of the regions and the presence of spatial correlation. The results show that GDP per capita growth is positively affected by the intensity of R&D and the share of adults with tertiary education. The R&D intensity is particularly effective in explaining the growth of labour productivity while that of occupation ratio is significantly influenced by the intensity of higher education. Thus, although structural characteristics and starting levels of economic performances have differently shaped the rates of economic growth across regions, our findings strongly support the Lisbon strategy as they indicate that, also within the EU, a sustained investment in R&D, knowledge and education is rewarding.
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