Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy

Knowledge, Technology and Internationalization

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Urban Gråsjö and Sofia Wixe

Innovation and entrepreneurship are the prime drivers in the global economy. This scholarly book identifies some of the key forces behind innovation and entrepreneurship at the same time as it closes the gap between science and technology R & D, innovation, entrepreneurship, productivity growth, and internationalization. The expert contributions explore the underlying forces and add substantial theoretical and empirical knowledge to the current state-of-the-art in several research fields including the economics of innovation and entrepreneurship, regional economics, economic geography and international economics.

Chapter 13: Infrastructure endowment, social capital and outsourcing: evidence from Emilia Romagna, Italy

Roberto Antonietti, Maria Rosaria Ferrante and Riccardo Leoncini

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance, economics of entrepreneurship, economics of innovation, regional economics, geography, economic geography, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Using an original dataset of small, machine-tool firms located in Emilia Romagna, Italy, we estimate the effect of social capital on the propensity to fully or partially outsource production activities. In particular, we investigate whether social capital favours outsourcing in contexts characterized by a relatively high infrastructure endowment. We show that the likelihood to fully outsource production activities increases with the local level of social capital. We also find that this effect is higher in regions where the density of transport infrastructures is higher. On the other hand, we do not find any significant effect of social capital on the propensity to partially outsource production activities. We argue that social capital is more effective in reducing the scope for opportunistic behaviour when monitoring costs are higher and where mobility is easier.

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