Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Therese Norman
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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