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Regional Performance in Knowledge Economies: A Comparison of Performance Indicators and Regional Units across Spatial Econometric Models
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Policy makers, regional planners and the like have long tried in vain to come up with both economically profound and comprehensive regional policies. These policies are extremely important to achieve de- velopment goals in the European Union, which is why regulations for economic convergence and in- creasing competitiveness of regions are critical. Nowadays, technological progress poses new tasks for policy makers, as economic production shifted from industrial towards knowledge intensive processes. Therefore, it is widely accepted that knowledge is the new trigger of regional economic performance. Yet, established knowledge assets, such as creativity, human capital and entrepreneurship are scarcely studied jointly in research practice. This leaves the scientific community with a fragmented understand- ing of this topic, and can cause considerable confusion among policy makers. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, on the conceptual front, it investigates the role of knowledge assets for regional performance. The major question in this regard is whether the more recent creative class approach outperforms conventional human capital measures. Secondly, the paper aims to clarify both the significance of selecting regional performance indicators and the role of regional hierarchy. Work undertaken in this regard uses various indicators interchange- ably and often fails get to the bottom of what the choice of the indicator means for their approach. By the same token, there are persistent uncertainties about the choice and the relevance of regional units for spatial econometric analysis. Therefore, the analysis tries to study the consequences of choosing specific indicators and regional units. Using a general spatial model, the paper estimates a Cobb-Douglas production function of the economic performance of 290 Swedish municipalities between 2009 and 2014. With this mathematical approach, spatial autocorrelation and spatial error disturbances are eliminated, allowing for more comprehensive and spatially robust results. By doing so, multiple variables representing human capital, creativity, entre- preneurship and innovative activities are examined and compared across four models varying on re- gional scale and output indicators. This approach also controls for a set of industrial and socio-economic features of the regional environment. The study found significant differences for varying regional levels and performance indicators. Moreover, creativity, narrowly defined, seems to be most strongly linked to regional performance outperforming other variables, including human capital measures. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 90 p.
National Category
Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-136299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-136299DiVA: diva2:1110368
Available from: 2017-06-27 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2017-06-27Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2017-08-01 15:57
Available from 2017-08-01 15:57

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf