IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Spatial and Sectoral Characteristics of Relational Capital in Innovation Activity

  • Roberta Capello


The paper presents prima facie evidence of the role of relational capital in innovation activities, and underlines the spatial and sectoral difference of the effects of relational capital on innovation processes. Relational cpaital is defined in this paper as the intensity of information and knowledge exchange measured through the intensity of cooperation among local actors. The paper is structured in two parts. In the first part, a review on the literature is presented, and the similarities and differences between the concept of relational capital and the more common knowledge spillovers is underlined. In the second part, the empirical results of the analysis is presented; the empirical analysis is based on a database built at the firm level, located both in urban and non-urban areas. The database consists of 89 observations, developed in three urban areas (La Spezia, Genova and Savona) and three specialised areas in Liguria, an Italian region. With a quantitative approach, the paper replies to the following key questions: - is relational capital a determinant for innovation activities? - If it is so, does it have the same role in urban and non urban areas? - Does it have a different role in specialised and despecialised areas? The empirical results to these questions help in understanding whether it is true that competitive city regions in the global economy are the major locations for relatively exclusive knowledge and learning resources. Our impression is that it is difficult to support this argument in general: if relational capital plays a role in innovation activities, it may very well be that its role strongly depends on the sectoral as well as the spatial characteristics in which the innovation process takes place. Non-urban areas characterised by strong local synergies and highly specialised activities may even be more facilitated in their inovation activity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa01p220.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa01p220
Contact details of provider: Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa01p220. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.