Local Advantage in a Global Context
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 6: Endogenous Factors in Regional Performance: A Review of Research in Australia
Robert J. Stimson There is an increasing interest in the role of endogenous factors in regional development. The literature places emphasis on factors such as regional industrial structure and diversification/specialization, human capital, population size and growth, leadership and institutional arrangements, in addition to the traditional concerns with regional resource endowments. The chapter reviews evidence from research in Australia on the role some endogenous factors play in differentiating regional performance in mainly non-metro settings. 6.1 EVOLVING APPROACHES TO REGIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH Understanding the nature and potential causes of spatial variation in regional economic performance is important in the context of developing and implementing regional policy. There has been an evolution in regional economic development literature from neoclassical theory based on the Solow (1956) model through to the ‘new growth theory’ (see Romer, 1986, 1990; Barro, 1990; Arthur, 1994), and a shift in emphasis from the importance of regional comparative advantage to regional competitive advantage and – more recently – collaborative advantage as regional economic development analysts have focused more and more on endogenous factors and processes in regional development and growth (see Johansson et al., 2001; Stimson, Stough and Roberts, 2006). Neoclassical economic theory argued that there was a tendency for different units to converge over time because of assumed long-run diminishing returns to capital. However, the extent to which convergence occurs is important as it provides an indication of how different groups of people or 159 KARLSSON (9781848443280) PRINT.indd 159 20/07/2012 12:18 160 The regional economics of knowledge and talent regions...
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