Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Economic Geography
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Economic Geography

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Therese Norman

The main purpose of this Handbook is to provide overviews and assessments of the state-of-the-art regarding research methods, approaches and applications central to economic geography. The chapters are written by distinguished researchers from a variety of scholarly traditions and with a background in different academic disciplines including economics, economic, human and cultural geography, and economic history. The resulting handbook covers a broad spectrum of methodologies and approaches applicable in analyses pertaining to the geography of economic activities and economic outcomes.
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Chapter 24: Regional knowledge production function analysis

Attila Varga and Márton Horváth


The past 25 years have seen a rapid global spread of regional innovation analysis. Since the late 1990s the regional knowledge production function (RKPF) has become a principal workhorse of this stream of empirical research. A search in Google Scholar results in about 250 studies that directly apply the RKPF methodology. Numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, contributions to edited volumes, books and working papers study regional innovation in four continents within the RKPF framework, with data collected at different spatial levels and econometric methodologies ranging from simple OLS to count data methods and explicit spatial econometric analyses. In this chapter our aim is to review the widest possible range of RKPF studies not the subject of earlier literature surveys. Important theoretical developments in economics beginning in the mid-1980s laid the foundations of this impressive expansion in empirical regional innovation analysis. Within the framework of neoclassical economics, Romer (1986, 1990) and Lucas (1988) turned scholarly attention towards the mechanisms of technological change as primary sources of economic growth, with particular consideration given to knowledge spillovers.

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