Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories
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Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories

Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

Regional economics – an established discipline for several decades – has gone through a rapid pace of change in the past decade and several new perspectives have emerged. At the same time the methodology has shown surprising development. This volume brings together contributions looking at new pathways in regional economics, written by many well-known international scholars. The most advanced theories, measurement methods and policy issues in regional growth are given in-depth treatment.
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Chapter 11: Knowledge Spillovers, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development

David B. Audretsch and T. Taylor Aldridge


David B. Audretsch and T. Taylor Aldridge 11.1 Introduction The emergence of knowledge as perhaps the most decisive factor for comparative advantage also has had an impact on at least two key dimensions involving the organization of economic activity. The first involves the spatial organization of economic activity. In particular, globalization has rendered the organization of economic activity for the spatial unit of the region more important. Just as globalization has reduced the marginal cost of transmitting information and physical capital across geographic space to virtually zero, it has also shifted the comparative advantage of a high-cost Standort, or location, in the developed countries from being based on physical capital to being based on knowledge. This shift in the relative cost of (tacit) knowledge vis-à-vis information has been identified as increasing the value of geographic proximity. To access knowledge, locational proximity is important. Thus, a paradox of globalization is that geography has actually become more important because close spatial proximity to a knowledge can bestow competitive advantage The second impact of globalization on the organization of economic activity involves the enterprise. While early analyses had predicted that large corporations were endowed with a competitive advantage in accessing, producing and commercializing knowledge, more recently studies have suggested that a very different organizational form – the entrepreneurial firm – has the competitive knowledge in the knowledge-based global economy. The purpose of this chapter is to explain why the emergence of knowledge as the source of comparative advantage has rendered a shift...

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