IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Shift of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Its Effects on Regional Disparities


  • Vesa Harmaakorpi


  • Arto Haikonen


  • Ilkka Kauranen



During the 1900?s we first lived thorough shift from the agricultural era to the industrial era. Nowadays, we are in the middle of the shift from the industrial era to the information era. The new era has several definitions based on different theories. At the same time, we talk about information society (knowledge is forming the main productivity factor), network society (new communication technology is connecting people), post-industrial society (change in production paradigm), service society (emphasis on services instead of production), expert society (increasing importance of skilled people and experts), learning society (learning ability becomes a critical factor), postmodern society (modernisation leads to individualism), innovation society (innovation is the driving force of economic growth), risk society (risks and uncertainty are increasing in society) and consumer society (consumer needs steer economic activities) These definitions reflect the different points of view of assessing the development we have been experiencing during the recent years. Each of these definitions emphasises different phenomena embedded in the change of present techno-economic paradigm, and each of them builds a basis for the assessment of the requirements of the changing environment. Although the definitions and theories describing the present change are mostly very abstract, some concrete indicators can be determined to describe the phase of the trajectory in the changing process of the society. The changes in the society should be assessed at regional level, especially as regional dimension is gaining importance in the development policies at the European level. In the regional context the question to rise first is, how the shift of techno-economic paradigm appears in the regional level and what its effect is on emerging regional disparities. Secondly, is it possible to evaluate, how the region?s adaptability to the shift of techno-economic paradigm correlates to its economical success. In the current study, an indicator is created to describe a regions? adaptability to the shift of techno-economic paradigm. The variables included in the adaptability indicator are derived from the theories describing the present society. The Finnish urban regions are used as the source of empirical data in this study. All Finnish urban regions are assessed based on the adaptability indicator and further on, the values of the adaptability indicator are compared to the respective values of indicators describing the economic success of the same regions.. Admittedly, the adaptability indicator does not describe the studied phenomenon completely, it might even be considered provocative. However, it gives some interesting results about the different kinds of development trajectories of urban regions, and gives valuable information for regional decision-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Vesa Harmaakorpi & Arto Haikonen & Ilkka Kauranen, 2003. "The Shift of Techno-Economic Paradigm and Its Effects on Regional Disparities," ERSA conference papers ersa03p226, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p226

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nonaka, Ikujiro & Toyama, Ryoko & Nagata, Akiya, 2000. "A Firm as a Knowledge-Creating Entity: A New Perspective on the Theory of the Firm," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-20, March.
    2. Camagni, Roberto, 2002. "On the concept of territorial competitiveness: sound or misleading?," ERSA conference papers ersa02p518, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-185, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p226. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.