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Technological enclaves and industrial districts: An analysis of the regional distribution of innovative activity in Europe

  • Raffaele Paci

    ()

  • Stefano Usai

    ()

This paper explores the spatial distribution of innovative and productive activity across 109 regions of the European Union, thanks to an original databank on regional patents statistics. The main results worth highlighting are as follows. The technological activity in the EU appears to be highly concentrated, although concentration tends to decline over the eighties. This results from the huge differences between southern and northern Europe. As expected, there is a positive association between the regional distribution of innovative activity and labour productivity. Further, contrary to previous evidence on the United States, our data show a significant link between the specialisation in innovation and in production both at the country and at the industry level. This suggests that localised knowledge spillovers and agglomeration economies foster a local economic system towards a specialisation in both production and technology. More surprisingly there appears a negative correlation between technological concentration and aggregate productivity, that is the European regions which enjoy a more homogeneous distribution of their technological capability across different industrial sectors appear to be also characterised by a higher productivity level. This outcome may suggest the presence of positive inter-industry externalities that favour those regions which succeed in covering a broader range of technological activities.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa98p461.

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Date of creation: Aug 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa98p461
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  1. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
  2. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  3. Brusco, Sebastiano, 1982. "The Emilian Model: Productive Decentralisation and Social Integration," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 167-84, June.
  4. Stefano Breschi, 2000. "The Geography of Innovation: A Cross-sector Analysis," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 213-229.
  5. Ariel Pakes & Zvi Griliches, 1980. "Patents and R and D at the Firm Level: A First Look," NBER Working Papers 0561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Raffaele Paci, 1997. "More similar and less equal: Economic growth in the European regions," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(4), pages 609-634, December.
  8. Tamura, R., 1992. "Regional Economies and Market Integration," Working Papers 92-24, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  9. Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 1996. "Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 431-448, 09.
  10. Sergio Nardis & Alessandro Goglio & Marco Malgarini, 1996. "Regional specialization and shocks in Europe: Some evidence from regional data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 197-214, September.
  11. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
  12. Daniel Coronado Guerrero & Manuel Acosta Sero, 1997. "Spatial Distribution of Patents in Spain: Determining Factors and Consequences on Regional Development," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 381-390.
  13. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-75, September.
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