New Directions in Regional Economic Development

New Directions in Regional Economic Development

The Role of Entrepreneurship Theory and Methods, Practice and Policy

Edited by Sameeksha Desai, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

The introduction of endogenous growth theory has led to new interest in the role of the entrepreneur as an agent driving technical change at the local regional level. This book examines theoretical and methodological issues surrounding the interface of the entrepreneur in regional growth dynamics on the one hand and on the other presents illuminating case studies. In total the book’s contributions amplify understanding of such critical issues as the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship, the entrepreneur’s role in transforming knowledge into something economically useful, and knowledge commercialization with both conceptual and empirical contributions.

Chapter 1: New Directions in Regional Economic Development: An Introduction

Roger R. Stough, Sameeksha Desai and Peter Nijkamp

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Roger R. Stough, Sameeksha Desai and Peter Nijkamp 1.1 INTRODUCTION The field of regional economic development has been transformed by the emergence of endogenous economic growth theory (Romer, 1986, 1990). It has unleashed a flurry of new hypotheses and related inquiries that have in turn created an exciting dynamic in the conceptual, theoretical and empirical foundations of the field. The central feature of the endogenous perspective at the local regional level is the recognition that local initiative matters in how a region grows, adapts to change and adjusts to disequilibrating physical and societal shocks. These include but are not limited to climate change and weather phenomena such as hurricanes, tsunamis and droughts, as well as other non-physical events including wars, cyclical change, new technology and paradigmatic political change. While macrolevel resource and development adjustments as always are important for adapting to such shocks, local regions make positive growth-inducing adjustments when they marshal local leadership (Stimson et al., 2009) and use local resources to plan for and drive toward a fruitful adjustment or transformative course for growth and development. It is against this contextual background that we examine some of the new directions in regional economic development. A major tenet of endogenous growth thinking is that technical change in the first place occurs at the local regional level, thereby focusing and in fact revolutionizing the Solow (1956) seminal conclusion that technological change was the variable that accounted for the discovery that classical factors of production barely explained half of the variance...