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

Paci, Raffaele - Usai, Stefano (1997) Technological enclaves and industrial districts. An analysis of the regional distribution of innovative activity in Europe. Working Paper. CRENoS.


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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.

Item Type:Technical Report / Working Paper / Project Report (Working Paper)
Date:December 1997
Institution:Universita' degli Studi di Cagliari
Divisions:Centri > CRENoS Centro Ricerche Economiche Nord Sud
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-S/03 Statistica economica
Uncontrolled Keywords:Innovative activity, European regions, technological specialisation, productive specialisation
ID Code:334
Deposited On:14 Nov 2008 08:14

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