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Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Regional Functions: A spatial panel approach


  • Matthias Brachert


  • Asier Alexander Kubis
  • Mirko Titze


The paper presents estimates for the impact of related variety, unrelated variety and the functions a region performs in the production process on regional employment growth in Germany. We argue that regions benefit from the existence of related activities that facilitate economic development. Thereby the sole reliance of the related and unrelated variety concept on standard industrial classifications (SIC) remains debatable. We offer estimations for establishing that conceptual progress can be made when the focus of analysis goes beyond solely considering industries. We develop an industry-function based approach of related and unrelated variety and test our hypothesis by the help of spatial panel approach. Our findings suggest that related variety as same as unrelated variety facilitate regional employment growth in Germany. However, the drivers behind these effects do differ. While the positive effect of related variety is driven by high degrees of relatedness in the regional “R&D” and “White-Collar”-functions, the effects of unrelated variety are spurred by “Blue Collar”-functions in this period.

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  • Matthias Brachert & Asier Alexander Kubis & Mirko Titze, 2013. "Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Regional Functions: A spatial panel approach," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1301, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1301

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank Neffke & Martin Henning & Ron Boschma, 2011. "How Do Regions Diversify over Time? Industry Relatedness and the Development of New Growth Paths in Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 87(3), pages 237-265, July.
    2. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
    3. Frank Neffke & Martin Svensson Henning, 2009. "Skill-relatedness and firm diversification," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography, revised Oct 2010.
    4. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
    5. Bode, Eckhardt, 1998. "Lokale Wissensdiffusion und regionale Divergenz in Deutschland," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1038, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bpj:zfwige:v:61:y:2017:i:1:p:23-37:n:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Matthias Firgo & Peter Mayerhofer, 2015. "Wissens-Spillovers und regionale Entwicklung - welche strukturpolitische Ausrichtung optimiert des Wachstum?," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 144, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    3. Matthias Firgo & Peter Mayerhofer, 2016. "(Un-)Related Variety and Employment Growth at the Sub-Regional Level," WIFO Working Papers 511, WIFO.
    4. Ron Boschma & Carlo Gianelle, 2014. "Regional Branching and Smart Specialisation Policy," JRC Working Papers JRC88242, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    5. Francesca Mameli & Simona Iammarino & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Regional variety and employment growth in Italian labour market areas: services versus manufacturing industries," Working Papers 4, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Mar 2012.
    6. Zoltán Elekes & Balázs Lengyel, 2016. "Related trade linkages, foreign firms, and employment growth in less developed regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1620, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2016.
    7. Elekes, Zoltán, 2016. "A regionális növekedés új tényezői az evolúciós gazdaságföldrajzi kutatásokban. A változatosság és a technológiai közelség
      [The new factors of regional growth in research into evolutionary economic
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 307-329.

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