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

Revised and Extended Second Edition

Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

Regional economics – an established discipline for several decades – has undergone a period of rapid change in the last ten years resulting in the emergence of several new perspectives. At the same time the methodology of regional economics has also experienced some surprising developments. This fully revised and updated Handbook brings together contributions looking at new pathways in regional economics, written by many well-known international scholars. The aim is to present the most cutting-edge theories explaining regional growth and local development. The authors highlight the recent advances in theories, the normative potentialities of these theories and the cross-fertilization of ideas between regional and mainstream economists. It will be an essential source of reference and information for both scholars and students in the field.
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Chapter 12: Theories of innovation in space: path-breaking achievements in regional science

Roberta Capello


The set of approaches currently available in regional science to interpret regional innovation and knowledge creation is the result of a way of scientific thinking that regional scientists developed over more than 60 years. One way to appreciate the long-standing scientific effort in innovation and knowledge theories is to present them diachronically by highlighting the paradigmatic jumps that the history of economic thought has gone through in this field of research. The different conceptualizations of space in innovation and knowledge-creation theories represent the real path-breaking achievements in understanding local determinants, conditions and actors involved in processes of knowledge and innovation creation, as well as the intensity of the effects caused by such processes; from a geographical space, to space as territory, to a-spatial proximities, in the form of institutional and cognitive proximities. The chapter presents the main theories developed the field of innovation and knowledge creation in regional science in a diachronic way, grouping them according to the manner in which space is conceived. The aim is to highlight the conceptual advancements and additional interpretative capacity obtained by each theoretical paradigm. Future research directions in the field conclude the chapter.

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