IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

Listed author(s):
  • Vesa Harmaakorpi


  • Arto Haikonen


  • Ilkka Kauranen


Registered author(s):

    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.

    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 ersa03p226.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Aug 2003
    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p226
    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.:

    in new window

    1. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-185, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Camagni, Roberto, 2002. "On the concept of territorial competitiveness: sound or misleading?," ERSA conference papers ersa02p518, European Regional Science Association.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

    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)

    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.