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Related Variety, Unrelated Variety, and Regional Growth: The Role of Absorptive Capacity and Entrepreneurship

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  • Michael Fritsch

    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Sandra Kublina

    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of related and unrelated variety on regional growth in West Germany. In particular, we analyze the role of regional absorptive capacity and new business formation for these effects. We find that West German regions benefit from both types of varieties. The positive effect of unrelated variety on growth is more pronounced in regions with higher levels of absorptive capacity in terms of R&D activities and with higher levels of new business formation. Such moderating effects cannot be found for related variety.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Sandra Kublina, 2016. "Related Variety, Unrelated Variety, and Regional Growth: The Role of Absorptive Capacity and Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2016-009
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    3. Speldekamp, Daniël & Knoben, Joris & Saka-Helmhout, Ayse, 2020. "Clusters and firm-level innovation: A configurational analysis of agglomeration, network and institutional advantages in European aerospace," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(3).
    4. Hu, Tiancheng & Guo, Rui & Ning, Lutao, 2022. "Intangible assets and foreign ownership in international joint ventures: The moderating role of related and unrelated industrial agglomeration," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    5. Takano, Keisuke, 2019. "Does visible shock update firms' unrelated trade diversity in anticipation of future shock? Evidence from the Great East Japan Earthquake and expected Nankai Trough Earthquake," TDB-CAREE Discussion Paper Series E-2019-01, Teikoku Databank Center for Advanced Empirical Research on Enterprise and Economy, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    6. Xiangfei Yuan & Haijing Hao & Chenghua Guan & Alex Pentland, 2021. "What are the key components of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in a developing economy? A longitudinal empirical study on technology business incubators in China," Papers 2103.08131, arXiv.org.
    7. Xiaozhen Qin & Shan Li & Weipan Xu & Xun Li, 2019. "Which Export Variety Matters for Urban Economic Growth, Related or Unrelated Variety?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(16), pages 1-19, August.
    8. Ren Lu & Qing Song & Ting Xia & Daguo Lv & Torger Reve & Ze Jian, 2021. "Unpacking the U‐shaped relationship between related variety and firm sales: Evidence from Japan," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(5), pages 1136-1157, October.
    9. Luciana Lazzeretti & Stefania Oliva & Niccolò Innocenti, 2019. "Exploring the role of industrial structure for regional economic resilience," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1917, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2019.
    10. Alessandra Colombelli & Antonio De Marco & Emilio Paolucci & Riccardo Ricci & Giuseppe Scellato, 2021. "University technology transfer and the evolution of regional specialization: the case of Turin," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 933-960, August.
    11. Zefeng Mi & Yongmin Shang & Gang Zeng, 2022. "The impact of knowledge base on technological innovation of emerging industries from the perspective of related variety: A case study of China’s fuel cell industry," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 57-75, March.
    12. Kadri Kuusk & Mikhail Martynovich, 2021. "Dynamic Nature of Relatedness, or What Kind of Related Variety for Long‐Term Regional Growth," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 112(1), pages 81-96, February.
    13. Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, Jon Mikel & Porto Gómez, Igone & Aguirre Larracoechea, Urko, 2020. "Technological diversification: a matter of related or unrelated varieties?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Related variety; unrelated variety; knowledge spillovers; regional absorptive capacity; entrepreneurship; regional growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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