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Research and development, spillovers, innovation systems, and the genesis of regional growth in Europe

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  • Riccardo Crescenzi

Research on the impact of innovation on regional economic performance in Europe has fundamentally followed three approaches: (1) the analysis of the link between investment in research and development (R&D), patents, and economic growth; (2) the study of the existence and efficiency of regional innovation systems; and (3) the examination of the geographical diffusion of regional knowledge spillovers. These complementary approaches have, however, rarely been combined. Important operational and methodological barriers have thwarted any potential cross-fertilization. This paper tries to fill this gap in the literature by combining in one model R&D, spillovers, and innovation systems approaches. A multiple regression analysis is conducted for all regions of the group of 25 European Union countries (EU-25), including measures of R&D investment, proxies for regional innovation systems, and knowledge and socio-economic spillovers. This approach allows the discrimination between the influence of internal factors and external knowledge and institutional flows on regional economic growth. The empirical results highlight how the complex interaction between local and external research, on the one hand, with local and external socio-economic and institutional conditions, on the other, shapes the innovation capacity of every region. They also indicate the importance of proximity for the transmission of economically productive knowledge, as spillovers are affected by strong distance decay effects.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 23326.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Regional Studies, February, 2008, 42(1), pp. 51-67. ISSN: 0034-3404
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:23326
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