This chapter examines in which ways social and economic networks can be a part of social capital, and to what extent social capital can be understood as a resource for organizing economic networks. It is recognized that social capital is a spatial public good with geographic extension. This suggests that social capital is intangible and benefits certain groups of actors who are associated with spatial areas for which the social capital is present. The extension of social capital can be identified on a scale ranging from community culture to system-wide institutions. A major part of the analysis focuses on how economic and social networks differ in nature and motivation, observing that economic links often lack a public-good nature, for example by excluding competitors. There is also a comparison between the concepts of social capital and social infrastructure. The analysis suggests that future research should consider the following three areas: (1) social and societal capital; (2) exclusion, interaction and sharing; and (3) accessibility and agglomeration economies.
Börje Johansson and Charlie Karlsson
In recent decades the world has witnessed the emergence of a global knowledge economy, in which regions are increasingly looked upon as independent, dynamic marketplaces, which are connected with other regions via knowledge and commodity flows. Each such region has its own base of scientific, technological and entrepreneurial knowledge, represented by knowledge assets of firms located in the region and the human and social capital associated with the region’s population. A region is also characterised by its ongoing knowledge production activities as well as import and export of knowledge. The chapter examines models depicting the role of knowledge in regional development and provides an assessment of empirical studies of the same phenomenon. A crucial aspect in the chapter is an analysis of factors that make knowledge spatially sticky and the knowledge production capacity trapped. To what extent does such regionally appropriated knowledge differ from knowledge that flows into the region from outside?
Börje Johansson and Ulla Forslund
Peter Warda and Börje Johansson
Åke E. Andersson and Börje Johansson
This chapter addresses the role of knowledge in regional development. Knowledge is a multidimensional concept that includes private knowledge embodied in an individual’s brain (human capital); technical advances embodied in computers, machinery and other production equipment; knowledge embodied in production recipes, patenting documents or computer software; and public knowledge in scientific journals. For the individual firm, innovation is driven by the conjunction of its knowledge arising from internal research and external knowledge. The dynamic interactions of these different representations of knowledge is a complicated process. The chapter presents a conceptual framework for identifying interaction processes in the global system of knowledge creation and exploitation, as well as formal models of economic theory, to draw conclusions about characteristics of the knowledge economy including the emergence of some places as knowledge centres and the decline of other research-poor peripheral regions.