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Co-worker networks and productivity growth in regions

Author

Listed:
  • Balázs Lengyel
  • Rikard H. Eriksson

Abstract

This paper provides a new empirical perspective for analysing the role of social networks for regional economic growth by constructing large-scale networks from employee-employee co-occurrences in plants in the entire Swedish economy 1990-2008. We calculate the probability of employee-employee ties at plant level based on homophily-biased random network assumptions and trace the most probable relations of every employee over the full period. We argue that these personal acquaintances are important for local learning opportunities and consequently for regional growth. Indeed, the paper provides the first systematic evidence for a central claim in economic geography: social network density has positive effect on regional growth defined as productivity growth. Interestingly, the most robust effect of density on growth was found in a segment of the co-worker network in which plants have never been linked by labour mobility previously.

Suggested Citation

  • Balázs Lengyel & Rikard H. Eriksson, 2015. "Co-worker networks and productivity growth in regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1513, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1513
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1513.pdf
    File Function: Version May 2015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Balázs Lengyel & Rikard H. Eriksson, 2017. "Co-worker networks, labour mobility and productivity growth in regions," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 635-660.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social network; random network with homophily bias; probability of tie; labour mobility; regional productivity growth; panel regression;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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