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The Lifecycle of Regions

  • Audretsch, David B
  • Falck, Oliver
  • Feldman, Maryann P
  • Heblich, Stephan

Major economic transitions, even when they are disruptive, do not occur instantaneously but rather occur over time, as regions within a country change at different rates. Accordingly, these dynamics may be reflected in a geographic lifecycle with different regions characterized by different phases analogous to the industry lifecycle model. In accordance with this argument, this paper tests the hypothesis that regions can be characterized as evolving over a predictable and well-defined lifecycle: (1) an initial entrepreneurial phases where Jacobs externalities and inter-industry start-ups prevail; (2) a routinized phase where innovation takes place within top-performing incumbents; (3) a second entrepreneurial phase characterized by Marshall-Arrow-Romer externalities, leading to intra-industry start-ups in niches; and (4) a second phase of routinization, in which no further innovation takes place, but is instead a phase of structural change. Using data on 74 West German planning regions, we find compelling evidence of a spatial lifecycle.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6757.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6757
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  1. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life-Cycle of Products," CEPR Discussion Papers 2376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-43, May.
  5. Eric von Hippel, 2007. "Horizontal innovation networks—by and for users," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 293-315, April.
  6. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  7. David Audretsch & Michael Fritsch, 2002. "Growth Regimes over Time and Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 113-124.
  8. Erik Stam, 2006. "Why Butterflies Don’t Leave. Locational behaviour of entrepreneurial firms," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-20, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  9. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
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