IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Knowledge assets and regional performance

  • R. Paci


  • E. Marrocu


Regional competitiveness, especially in the industrialised countries, is increasingly reliant on the availability of an adequate endowment of knowledge assets at the local level, like technological and human capital. These intangible factors enhance regional efficiency directly as inputs of the production function, but they also play a crucial role in allowing the territory to absorb the potential knowledge spillovers from the neighbouring regions. The aim of this paper is to analyse the role of the internal and external factors in determining the productivity level for a large set of regions belonging to the EU27 plus Norway and Switzerland. We estimate a Cobb-Douglas production function over the period 2000-2008 where, in addition to the traditional inputs of physical capital and units of labour, we consider innovation activities and human capital endowments as relevant knowledge assets. We also control for other geographical and industrial features of the regions. In order to take into account the commonly found geographic association across regions, our analysis is carried out within the spatial panel econometric framework. Main results, robust to a wide array of sensitivity checks, show that knowledge assets exhibit positive and significant coefficients and the impact of human capital on GDP is higher than the one found for technological capital in most of the estimated empirical models. Moreover, we find evidence of spatial spillovers directly associated with the two immaterial assets, which turn out to be much more effective in the regions of the 12 new accession countries with respect to all other European regions. The significant presence of such spillovers emphasizes the important role played by highly educated labour forces in increasing the regions’ absorptive capacity of new external knowledge and in ensuring its effective use in the production process.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 201213.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201213
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via S. Giorgio 12, I-09124 Cagliari
Phone: +70/6756406
Fax: +70/6756402
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2005. "Localized Learning Revisited," DRUID Working Papers 05-19, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2012. "Education or Creativity: What Matters Most for Economic Performance?," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 88(4), pages 369-401, October.
  3. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. E. Marrocu & R. Paci & S. Usai, 2010. "Productivity growth in the Old and New Europe: the role of agglomeration externalities," Working Paper CRENoS 201024, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  5. Corrado, L. & Fingleton, B., 2011. "Where is the economics in spatial econometrics?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-02, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  6. Barbara Dettori & Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2012. "Total Factor Productivity, Intangible Assets and Spatial Dependence in the European Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(10), pages 1401-1416, November.
  7. Christoph Hauser & Gottfried Tappeiner & Janette Walde, 2007. "The Learning Region: The Impact of Social Capital and Weak Ties on Innovation," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 75-88.
  8. Roberta Capello & Andrea Caragliu & Peter Nijkamp, 2011. "Territorial Capital And Regional Growth: Increasing Returns In Knowledge Use," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 102(4), pages 385-405, 09.
  9. Döring, Thomas & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2004. "What Do We Know About Geographical Knowledge Spillovers and Regional Growth? A Survey of the Literature," Research Notes 14, Deutsche Bank Research.
  10. Kelejian, Harry H. & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2010. "Specification and estimation of spatial autoregressive models with autoregressive and heteroskedastic disturbances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(1), pages 53-67, July.
  11. James E. Rauch, 1991. "Productivity Gains From Geographic Concentration of human Capital: Evidence From the Cities," NBER Working Papers 3905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lawrence A. Plummer & Zoltan J. Acs, 2004. "Penetrating the "Knowledge Filter" in Regional Economies," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-38, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  13. Manfred Fischer & Monika Bartkowska & Aleksandra Riedl & Sascha Sardadvar & Andrea Kunnert, 2009. "The impact of human capital on regional labor productivity in Europe," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 97-108, October.
  14. E. Marrocu & R. Paci & M. Pontis, 2009. "Intangible capital and firms productivity," Working Paper CRENoS 200916, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  15. R. Paci & S. Usai, 2007. "Knowledge flows across European regions," Working Paper CRENoS 200704, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  16. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo regstdcenzi, 2008. "Research and Development, Spillovers, Innovation Systems, and the Genesis of Regional Growth in Europe," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 51-67.
  17. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  20. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. James P. LeSage & Manfred M. Fischer, 2012. "Estimates of the Impact of Static and Dynamic Knowledge Spillovers on Regional Factor Productivity," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 35(1), pages 103-127, January.
  22. Mario A. Maggioni & Mario Nosvelli & Teodora Erika Uberti, 2007. "Space versus networks in the geography of innovation: A European analysis," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 471-493, 08.
  23. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1251-88 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch & Bo Carlsson, 2010. "The missing link: knowledge diffusion and entrepreneurship in endogenous growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 105-125, February.
  25. Sterlacchini, Alessandro, 2008. "R&D, higher education and regional growth: Uneven linkages among European regions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1096-1107, July.
  26. J. Elhorst, 2010. "Applied Spatial Econometrics: Raising the Bar," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 9-28.
  27. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  28. "Jakob B." "Madsen", 2008. "Economic Growth, TFP Convergence and the World Export of Ideas: A Century of Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 145-167, 03.
  29. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd & van Schaik, Ton, 2005. "Social capital and growth in European regions: an empirical test," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 301-324, June.
  31. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2009. "Intangible Capital And U.S. Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 661-685, 09.
  32. J. Barkley Rosser, 2009. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Handbook of Research on Complexity, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201213. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antonello Pau)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.