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Categorisation of OECD Regions Using Innovation-Related Variables


  • Giulia Ajmone Marsan


  • Karen Maguire



National policy makers have shown a growing interest in the regional dimension of innovation processes, and regional policy makers are seeking to promote their own competitiveness by supporting innovation. To advance the OECD quantitative research on regions and innovation, a categorisation of regions was developed using socio-demographic, economic, and innovation-related variables. Many different categorisations are possible depending on the purpose of the peer group comparisons. This categorisation was developed with the main goal of highlighting the diversity of regional profiles across OECD regions. Similar types of analysis have been performed with regions of the European Union. This analysis identifies eight groups of regions based on the similarity of their performance on the 12 variables used in the statistical cluster analysis. These eight groups were then classified into three macro categories based on relevance for policy recommendations. Possibilities for further research to develop different forms of regional peer groupings are discussed. Les responsables politiques nationaux montrent un intérêt croissant envers la dimension régionale des processus d’innovation, et les responsables politiques régionaux cherchent à promouvoir leur propre compétitivité en soutenant l’innovation. Afin d’améliorer la recherche quantitative de l’OCDE sur les régions et l’innovation, une catégorisation des régions a été développée en utilisant des variables socio-démographiques, économiques et liées à l’innovation. De nombreuses catégorisations sont possibles en fonction de l’objectif des comparaisons entre « groupes de pairs ». La présente catégorisation a été développée avec l’objectif principal de mettre en évidence la diversité des profils régionaux au sein des régions de l’OCDE. Des types d’analyse similaires ont été réalisés avec les régions de l’Union européenne. Cette analyse identifie huit groupes de régions sur la base de la similitude de leur performance dans les 12 variables utilisées pour l’analyse statistique en « cluster ». Ces huit groupes ont ensuite été classés en trois macro-catégories suivant leur pertinence pour les recommandations politiques. Les possibilités de continuer les recherches pour développer différentes formes de groupes de pairs régionaux sont également abordées.

Suggested Citation

  • Giulia Ajmone Marsan & Karen Maguire, 2011. "Categorisation of OECD Regions Using Innovation-Related Variables," OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2011/3, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:govaab:2011/3-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Hajek, Petr & Henriques, Roberto & Hajkova, Veronika, 2014. "Visualising components of regional innovation systems using self-organizing maps—Evidence from European regions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 197-214.
    2. Jing Xiao & Ron Boschma & Martin Andersson, 2016. "Industrial diversification in Europe: The differentiated role of relatedness," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1627, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2016.

    More about this item


    cluster analysis; economic development; innovation policy; regional competitiveness; regional development; regional innovation strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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