Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography

Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography

Edited by Koen Frenken

Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography aims to further advance empirical methodologies in evolutionary economics, with a special emphasis on geography and firm location. It does so by bringing together a select group of leading scholars including economists, geographers and sociologists, all of whom share an interest in explaining the uneven distribution of economic activities in space and the historical processes that have produced these patterns.

Chapter 12: Explaining the Territorial Adoption of New Technologies: A Spatial Econometric Approach

Andrea Bonaccorsi, Lucia Piscitello and Cristina Rossi

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, geography, economic geography, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Andrea Bonaccorsi, Lucia Piscitello and Cristina Rossi* 1. INTRODUCTION The idea that information and communication technology (ICT) will reduce the economic importance of geographic distance has been expounded energetically in post-Internet literature (Cairncross, 2001). According to this view, the New Economy works in a space rather than a place, transport costs will be drastically reduced, distance will be less important, and peripheral regions will benefit from opportunities that are not available in an economy based on manufacturing industry (Negroponte, 1995; Kelly, 1998; Compaine, 2001). Since it is mostly based on non-material and human capital investment, ICT offers new areas of potential growth to regions or areas that have historically suffered from isolation, high transport costs or a lack of private and public physical infrastructure. Consequently, according to this view, the concentration of income opportunities and wealth should decrease over time. Although other predictions have also been made in the debate over the impact of the digital economy (for example, UNDP, 2001; Norris, 2002), this view is still prevalent. However, the reality is not so rosy. Not only are there huge disparities in the intensity with which ICT is adopted across countries, but big differences still persist within industrialised countries. Indeed, differences in economic development still shape the rate of the adoption of these technologies, at firm, regional and national levels. The reasons for these stylised facts have been investigated at length in recent years. This chapter contributes to current literature in several ways. First, it...

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