Issue 54 – Autumn 2022


European Regional Policy

Luciana Lazzeretti, Stefania Oliva, Niccolò Innocenti

Unfolding Smart Specialisation for Regional Economic Resilience: the role of Industrial Structure

The European Regional Development Funds for the programmatic cycle 2014-2020 aims to support regions that implement an innovation strategy based on Smart Specialisation. Within this framework, the European Commission emphasises the role of smart specialisation in favouring regional transformation, enhancing competitiveness and fostering resilience. However, the concepts of smart specialisation and resilience have been poorly combined. The article aims at investigating their relationship to understand if a smart specialisation strategy may promote the economic resilience of regions in response to major economic shocks. Drawing upon the concepts of adaptation/adaptability, the analysis investigates the relatedness of new industrial specialisations to the existing industrial structure before and after a shock occurrence. Evaluating the resilience of Italian provinces in relation to the economic crisis of 2008, the analysis aims to understand if provinces that resisted and recovered better followed a smart specialisation framework where new industrial specialisations are related to the existing industrial structure.

Keywords: Industrial structure; resilience; relatedness; smart specialization

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Domingo Rodríguez Benavides, Miguel Ángel Mendoza González, Nancy Ivonne Muller Durán

Regional covergence in Mexico: a test of weak s-convergence

The objective of this paper is to provide evidence on the convergence hypothesis in Mexico through a relatively novel test, the weak s-convergence test applied not only to the whole period analyzed but also to different periods, which depend on the location of the break year representing trade liberalization, either 1986 or 1995, as well as to different groups classified according to terciles such as high, middle and low income. The results show that only in the first period we find evidence of this type of convergence for all the states, regardless of where the break year is located, while for the second period and for the whole period as a whole we find no evidence of weak s-convergence, however, we find evidence of weak sigma-convergence in both periods for the high and middle income groups but not for the low income groups, which suggests that the results found for all the states can be attributed to the behavior that the low income states show in this last period. Additionally, these results are consistent with the traditional sigma-convergence analysis.

Keywords: Economic growth; weak s-convergence; regional inequality; Mexico

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Jan Wolf, Marco Marto, Mara Madaleno, João Lourenço Marques

The adjustment of primary schools to shrinking populations: a spatial modelling approach

The adjustment of services of general interest to ageing and shrinking populations is a significant challenge in many European regions. This article analyses the response in the number of primary schools to changes in the student population in the municipalities of mainland Portugal between 2007 and 2016. It focuses on the time lag of this adjustment, the territorial factors that influence it and the role of spatial spill-over effects. The main finding is that the relationship between the number of schools and the number of students is not straightforward and can only be understood considering the broader geographic contexts and spatial dependence structures.

Keywords: Population growth; primary schools; spatial modelling; Portugal; spatial dependence

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Eduardo Rodrigues Sanguinet, Gabriel Rodríguez-Puello

Tertiary industries’ value-added as a linkage’s engine: An interstate input-output application for Brazilian regions

Tertiary industries’ value-added have been considered an essential input for any production chain, as they have the potential to connect regions and services activities across networks. Moreover, spatially, services move more straightforward than the manufacturing of resource-based industries. This study estimates the interregional and inter-industry linkages regarding a set of services-related economic sectors and accounts for the trade in value-added (TiVA) measures, considering intraregional and interregional trade based on an interstate input-output application for Brazil. The main findings reveal that the poorest Brazilian states tend to lose linkages opportunities in services activities, remaining hostages to supply natural resources to production networks for subnational and foreign demand. On the other hand, the potential for gains from connections in the services’ networks reveals greater spatial dispersion across regional hierarchies, increasing the concentration in large urban agglomerations. In this regard, the paper concludes that the connectivity potential of services at the intraregional level can be an essential starting point to promote innovative systems away from large urban areas in the wealthiest regions inside Brazil, potentially reducing value-added imbalances in internal geography trade flows.

Keywords: Tertiary activities; services trade; value-added trade; structural linkages; vertical integration; regional inequalities

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Luis Enrique Santiago, Boris Graizbord

Knowledge-Intensive Employment Growth in Mexican Cities, 2004-2019

This article analyzes the changes in employment in Knowledge Intensive Services (KIS) in Mexican cities between 2004 and 2019. Methodologically, the service sector is defined according to intensity and type of knowledge, and the dynamic shift-share and the cluster analysis are applied. The results indicate that the growth of KIS is mainly the product of the conditions that each city offers, which are not only defined by their size but also by their geographic location and interurban links. The performance of KIS though calls into question the competitive capacities of the country’s urban economies in the global economy.

Keywords: Knowledge-intensive activities; components of growth; urban system

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Books reviews

María Hierro Franco

The Great Reset. 2021 European Public Investment Outlook

The book “The Great RESET. 2021 European Public Investment Outlook” is an excellent reference for those researchers interested in understanding the unprecedented role attributed to public investment in the European Union (EU) hand in hand with the Next Generation EU Recovery Plan (NGEU), to counteract the effects of the pandemic and, likewise, generate new opportunities linked to a sustainable growth model that promotes economic, social and territorial cohesion. Through this work, the reader will have the opportunity to revise, thanks to the contributions of outstanding international experts, the strategic role played by public investment in the present, and especially in the future. In the words of Professor Olivier Blanchard, “this book is simply essential reading”.

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