Chapter 11: Inter-regional Knowledge Flows in Europe: An Econometric Analysis
11. Inter-regional knowledge ﬂows in Europe: an econometric analysis Mario A. Maggioni and T. Erika Uberti* 1. INTRODUCTION The aim of this chapter is to analyse the impact of knowledge on regional economic development and, consequently, on regional disparities across ﬁve major European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. In particular our focus is on the nature of knowledge, not only as a ﬁxed cost in the production process (leading to scale economies), an investment good (inﬂuenced by accumulation and depreciation dynamics) and an experience good (whose quality attributes can be detected only upon using, or consuming, the good), but also as a ‘relational’ good displaying network externalities. In this chapter we analyse the manifold nature of knowledge through the analysis of four distinct but complementary phenomena (Internet hyperlinks, European research networks, European Patent Oﬃce (EPO) co-patent applications, Erasmus student mobility) which characterise knowledge as an intrinsic relational structure (directly) connecting people, institutions and (indirectly) regions across ﬁve European countries. Two main research questions are addressed: the ﬁrst deals with the notion of regional disparities; the second refers to the diﬀerent concepts of distance, namely geographical, functional and sectoral. Regional disparities can no longer be deﬁned only in terms of statistical diﬀerences in the values of standard macroeconomic indicators. Knowledge matters more and more in deﬁning both the level and the growth rate of a given region GDP (Sapir et al., 2004). For this reason, new relational indicators have to be...
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