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Knowledge, Creativity and Regional Development

  • Karlsson, Charlie


    (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

  • Johansson, Börje


    (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

The understanding of economic development in regions in developed countries has gone through a fundamental change during recent decades. Nowadays, regions are increasingly looked upon as independent, dynamic market places that are connected via flows of interregional and international trade. Regional development is driven by changes in the economic specialisation, which can be explained by two different, but complementary theoretical frameworks for analysing location and trade, one old and one new.The old theoretical framework assumes that changes in the economic specialisation of regions depend upon changes in the supply of durable and semi-durable regional characteristics. The new theoretical framework, known as the new economic geogra¬phy, assumes that changes in the economic specialisation of regions are driven by the dynamic interaction between regional market potentials and rational firms experienc¬ing increasing returns. In their pure form, these theoretical frameworks can explain changes in regional economic specialisation and consequently regional develop¬ment without any reference to knowledge creation and other changes in knowledge assets. This is certainly a bit odd for a period of history often referred to as the era of the knowledge economy. So, does knowledge have no role to play as a force driving re¬gional spe¬cialisation and regional development? Or, is it so that the traditional “knowledge free” explanations of changes in regional specialisation and regional de¬velopment are missing important points? In this paper, we claim that knowledge infrastructure, human capital, talent, creativ¬ity, knowledge generation, knowledge protection, knowl¬edge accumulation, knowl¬edge appropriation, knowl¬edge flows, etc. as well as the creative use of knowledge are basic drivers of the spe¬cialisation of regions and hence of regional development. The purpose is to discuss the role of knowledge and talent in regional de¬velopment seen in both a regional and a global context.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 148.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 13 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0148
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CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. Kaldor, Nicholas, 1970. "The Case for Regional Policies," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 17(3), pages 337-48, November.
  2. Bewley, Truman F, 1981. "A Critique of Tiebout's Theory of Local Public Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 713-40, May.
  3. Andersson, Ake E. & Anderstig, Christer & Harsman, Bjorn, 1990. "Knowledge and communications infrastructure and regional economic change," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 359-376, November.
  4. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
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  7. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
  8. Charlie Karlsson & Per Flensburg & Sven-Åke Hörte (ed.), 2004. "Knowledge Spillovers and Knowledge Management," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3385, 10.
  9. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
  10. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  11. Charlie Karlsson & Börje Johansson & Roger R. Stough (ed.), 2005. "Industrial Clusters and Inter-Firm Networks," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3577, 10.
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