Otoño 2007


European Regional Policy

Ugo Fratesi

The Spatial Diffusion of Innovations and the Evolution of Regional Disparities

This paper investigates the concurrent effects on regional disparities of the speeds of innovation and of the spatial diffusion of knowledge. The aim is to investigate whether an increase in the pace of innovation, identical in all regions, due to exogenous factors such as the «technological revolution» or policies targeting the «innovative effort» of territories, can give rise to increased disparities. In order to answer these questions, the paper focuses on the role of interregionally shared knowledge and shows that, due to the cumulativeness of knowledge, making the same innovative effort is not enough to maintain the same income per capita. Moreover, the speed of innovation is not the only determinant, because a role of equal importance is played by the ease of interregional knowledge diffusion. To support this argument, first a new simple static model is built to extend symmetrically existing north-south models of trade and to rigorously represent the actual producers of goods whose production technique is shared between regions. Then, building on the first model, two reduced forms for the dynamics of innovation and diffusion flows are introduced - one probabilistically, the other with multiple equilibria. These lead to the same conclusion: an increase in the pace of innovation, even with structurally identical regions, may generate regional income disparities if knowledge is cumulative and spillovers are essentially local. It is finally shown, however, that the divergence effect of increased innovation pace can be counterbalanced by an increase in the speed of spatial knowledge diffusion.

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COMISIÓN EUROPEA. Dirección General de Política Regional - Informe Final. Ref. E2671

Estudio de Fortalezas, Debilidades, Oportunidades y Amenazas de las regiones españolas en el marco de las conclusiones de Lisboa y Gotemburgo

Objetivos Este estudio debe orientar y ayudar a la Dirección General de Política Regional de la Comisión Europea a definir las políticas, acciones y estrategias en el período de programación 2007-2013 con vistas a impulsar las actividades de I+D+i en el ámbito de las comunidades autónomas españolas, así como en el conjunto del Estado. En este documento se expone parte de la presentación general del contenido del estudio mencionado, en el que se abordan con la debida amplitud y profundidad el conjunto de aspectos abordados en este resumen ejecutivo. Asimismo incorpora los principales aspectos de síntesis abordados a lo largo del estudio, siguiendo el esquema de contenido que se presenta a continuación.

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Jesús López-Rodríguez y Andrés Faíña

Regional Wage Disparities in Europe: What role for Market Access?

This paper uses a New Economic Geography model to test for wage disparities in the European Union. We derive and estimate an econometric specification relating wages to a distance weighted sum of regional GDP’s. The empirical estimations of the model were carried out for a sample of 160 NUTS2 regions in the EU15 for the year 2000 showing that geography of access to markets is statistically significant and quantitatively important in explaining cross-region variation in European wages. We also show that incentives for human capital accumulation and innovation activities arising from market access size are also affecting the shaping of regional wages in the European Union.

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Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López e Iván Muñiz Olivera

Polycentrism or dispersion? An approach based on the New Urban Economics

There is no clear dividing line between polycentrism and dispersion in the spatial structure of cities. One of the methods used to assess the level of polycentrism in comparison with the dispersion of employment in an urban region has been to compare the changes in jobs inside and outside subcentres. If the proportion of employment in subcentres increases to a greater extent than the percentage of jobs located outside the CBD and the subcentres, then the city tends towards polycentrism, while if the opposite is true, it tends towards dispersion. The aim of this study is to consider polycentrism according to the New Urban Economics approaches. Using this approach, polycentrism must not only be measured by the employment concentrated in subcentres, but also by its impact on the location and density conditions of employment as a whole. The empirical evidence provided enables both methodologies to be compared for the total number of jobs in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region between 1986 and 2001. The results show that the polycentrism of the BMR has been accentuated by the identification of new subcentres and the maintenance —or even accentuation— of their effect on the location and density conditions of other employment.

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Carlos Llano Verduras

Urban growth and labor dynamic: an inter-sectoral analysis of commuting flows in the Madrid region (1996-2004)

This article analyze the relation between urban structure and labor markets, with the purpose of valuing to what extent the monocentric model fits with the recent development of Madrid metropolitan area. Starting with the analysis of the territorial localization of companies and households within the Madrid region, we analyze the inter-municipal commuting flows between 1996-2004. Then, by the calculation of entropy for a set of inter-municipal matrix of commuting flows, the sprawl of population and economic activity is quantified. Finally, by means of techniques of structural change analysis in the input-output framework, the intertemporal stability of mobility patterns is analysed, identifying significant differences among sectors.

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Juan Gómez García, Úrsula Faura Martínez y M.ª Mercedes Carmona

The ecological agriculture diffusion in Europe

In this work we analyse the evolution of organic agriculture in Europe from the point of view of Innovations Diffusion Theory in order to understand the characteristics of the process, and the factors that have determined its course in the past. From the corresponding diffusion models for data concerning the spread of organic farming in the fifteen countries belonging to the EU from 1985 to 2002, we conclude that the diffusion advance of organic cultivation has been driven by imitation. Furthermore, there is evidence that the characteristics of the diffusion process in each country depend on certain economic characteristics related with the purchasing power of its population, on the influence and experience of neighbouring countries that have adopted before and the moment at which any innovation is introduced.

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Anastasia Hernández Alemán y Carmelo J. León

Analysis of the determinant factors of the decision to migrate towards the Canary Islands

In this study, the neoclassic approach in the analysis of the migratory movements is taken into a account as a reference to analize some of the variables that determine the volume of immigration in the Canary Islands. A system of structural equations is used as a method. This is a model of imbalance in that the variables of economic nature have major protagonism that any other variable of environmental nature. The results have implications for the politics of immigration and for future research.

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Lorena García Alonso y Joaquín Sánchez Soriano

Evolution of the investment versus evolution of the provincial ports selection

The improvements introduced in the transportation sector have propitiated that a merchandise flow can be transported efficiently from different ports and, consequently, they have come accompanied by an increase of the infrastructure investment. However, the port selection carried out from the Spanish provinces to channel their flows of containers remains stable, what suggests that it has not responded to the competitive strategies developed by the managers of the biggest peninsular ports, whose result seems to be related with their respective location.

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Books and publications


Surveys and Debates

Antonio Vázquez Barquero

Endogenous development. Theories and policies of territorial development

Endogenous development is an interpretation that includes different points of view which share the same theoretical and policy patterns. It is a territorial approach to development that refers to growth and capital accumulation processes of territories that have their own culture and institutions, upon which investment decisions are made. From this perspective, endogenous development policy is the local actors answer to the challenge of globalization. The paper argues that endogenous development theory integrates and gives cohesion to different views of development, such as self-centred development, human development, sustainable development or bottom-up development.

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Books reviews