Markets, Clusters and Innovation
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Chapter 2: The Emergent Knowledge Economy: Concepts and Evidence
This chapter ﬁrst deals with the questions of what the knowledge economy is, how we can understand it, and how the process of knowledge generation and application works. Also the role of codiﬁed and tacit knowledge, their interplay and the spatial implications will be discussed. Second, we will bring forward empirical evidence from EU and OECD sources regarding the knowledge economy. We will try to ﬁnd out, how far we have moved towards a knowledge economy and which countries have a lead in this respect. A particular focus will be on diﬀerences between EU countries and the USA, as well as on Austria and the UK, the two countries further analysed in greater detail in later chapters. In the past few years we have seen an ever-growing literature on the rise of a knowledge-based economy (OECD, 1996; 2001; Drucker, 1998; Smith, 2002; David and Foray, 2003) or a learning economy (Lundvall and Johnson, 1994). A major driving force of this development have been the globalization process and tendencies of deregulation and liberalization, putting pressure on companies to innovate in order to stay competitive (Lundvall and Borrás, 1999; Dunning, 2000; Archibugi and Lundvall, 2002). Also the progress in ICT has allowed new forms of exchange and storage of information and has stimulated the codiﬁcation of knowledge (Soete, 2002). The latter has been reﬂected in the boom and subsequent bust of the New Economy at the end of the 1990s. Another stream of literature (Keeble and Wilkinson,...
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