The present work endeavours to carry out a study of the weaknesses/
errors detected by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) in the reports presented
by 15 European countries on the economic and financial management of Structural
Funds in the period ranging from 2000 to 2006. The aim of our study is focused
on the description and analysis of the number and nature of the errors/weaknesses
made by the member states, carrying out an empirical analysis on the possible
causes at the root of this situation, conducting a study with univariate and multivariate
statistical techniques, using a probit choice model type and least squares
estimation. Amongst other conclusions, the current study establishes that the new
Council Regulation has had an uneven effect on the different countries, and that the
volume of such errors/weaknesses detected in the reports of the EU member states
is linked to the amount of resources allocated to each member state per Structural
The relationship between city size and territorial productivity has
attracted much attention in the urban economic literature. Some theories on the
field claim for a strong positive correlation between the size of the municipalities
and their income, mainly motivated by economical reasons, geographical characteristics
or other factor of the urban environment. Unfortunately, in many countries the empirical research on this topic is not possible given the lack of data of income
at a local level. This paper proposes the use of entropy econometrics to estimate
urban income and urban productivity according to city size from aggregate information,
which can be defined as an exercise of ecological inference. With the estimated
data a regional classification based on the relevance of the cities size allows
us to measure the relevance of agglomeration economics on the cities productivity
The year 2014 marked a double anniversary: the 35th and 25th anniversaries of the publication of two seminal papers of Giacomo Becattini on the industrial district. The first paper (Becattini, 1979) conceptualizes the industrial district as a «unit of investigation», while the second (Becattini, 1989) conceptualizes the industrial district as a «model of production». Between the two papers there is a mutual dependence. The industrial district as a «model of production» deprived of the industrial district as a «unit of investigation» loses its originality as a way of interpreting economic change and becomes merely «one type of a cluster». This paper deals with the relationship between district and cluster, then also between the industrial district as a singular theoretical construct and the many industrial districts described by empirical investigations, and concludes with some remarks on the topicality of the industrial district.
This article discusses the question of what should be the proper conceptual framework for analysing productive phenomena. The cause for reflection on this topic stems from a proposal made by researchers from the Bank of Italy (Alampi et al., 2013) to analyse productive phenomena through the lens of an integrated geographical and sectorial perspective. The author proposes a reversal of the approach, arguing that the starting point for analysis should be the assumption that every place — as defined by a combination of natural conditions and the outcome of history — has at any given time a specific «productive chorality». This productive chorality is not merely derived from the technical, spatial, and cultural proximity of businesses, but also, and more importantly, from the cultural homogeneity and congruity of all the inhabitants of that place, who contribute, positively or negatively, to local production.
The studies of Giacomo Becattini concerning the notion of the «Marshallian industrial district» have led a revolution in the field of economic development around the world. The paper offers an interpretation of the methodology adopted by Becattini. The roots are clearly Marshallian. Becattini proposes a return to the economy as a complex social science that operates in historical time. We adopt a Schumpeterian approach to the method in economic analysis in order to highlight the similarities between the Marshall and Becattini’s approach. Finally the paper uses the distinction between logical time, real time and historical time which enable us to study the «localized» economic process in a Becattinian way.
The aim of this paper is to critically consider how the concept of «industrial district» was born and evolved in the field of regional science. Despite the claim by Isard that the emergence of a spatial dimension in economics was being hampered by Marshall’s alleged prioritising of time over space (Isard, 1956), the concept of «localization economies» introduced into regional science by Ohlin, Hoover and Isard clearly is itself a legacy from Marshall. This contradiction in the work of Isard and others followed to a large extent from the way in which Marshallian concepts were historically situated in economic thought before Giacomo Becattini’s re-reading of Marshall and his ideas. This re-reading began in the 1960s, focussing on conceptual issues related to industry (Becattini, 1962), and then culminated in the following decades with work on the idea of the «industrial district»: considering it first as a unit of investigation of economic research (Becattini, 1979) and, later, as a way of industrial development (Becattini, 1989). In brief, the originality of Marshall’s economic thought can be found in Book IV of his Principles of Economics. This originality can be seen in the statement that economics is more important as a way of studying man in society than as a way of studying wealth; and continues through the affirmation that man’s character is moulded by his daily work. That is to say, a person’s «place of living» (where individuals live and work) is important not only for the formation of human skills but also for the formation of character. The place as the unit of investigation (i.e. the «functional region») is one of the main elements which distinguishes the identity of regional science from other branches of economics.
The paper presents a theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of industrial districts from Marshall’s conceptualisation to today’s realities and theorisations of the industrial district as model of industrial organization and development. We discuss three generation of industrial districts: the first generations of districts were the seedbeds for the first industrial revolution. The second generations corresponded to the re-emergence of industrial districts in advanced and industrialised countries during the second half of the twentieth century, after the golden age of mass production. The current and third generation is being revealed resorting to scholarly observation. We will argue that each generation of industrial districts have emerged and grown in correspondence with specific technological, institutional and market conditions. Some evidence from the Italian case is presented.
The literature regarding ID/C is based on seminal writings of Marshall, followed by Giacomo Becattini’s rediscovering of the concept of an «industrial district». But the concept of a «cluster» was also promoted during the 1980s by Porter, and highlighted the importance of geographically clustered and interconnected firms and institutions specialised in a particular field. Despite the model of ID/C has been often described as locally self-contained, various empirical researches and our analysis have pointed out its increasing involvement in the process of internationalization. The recent entry and exit of MNEs, and the phenomena of off-shoring did not question the model of ID/C per se, but it contributed to showing how interwoven the evolution of local economies and MNEs is.
This article focuses on understanding why multinational enterprises co-locate in industrial districts, stressing, unfolding and describing the potential of the local or regional-level agglomerations of people and firms which permits multinational enterprises to obtain additional sources of competitive advantage when properly fit. In order to fulfil this goal, the paper presents an attempt to link the literature of industrial districts and economic geography with that on international business. Three theoretical frameworks are tested in an empirical case. The paper has implications for the two lines of literature and opens up a key debate for the future.
Marble quarries in Macael have been exploited since ancient times but its complex industrial district had to wait till the fifties to emerge. This industrial district includes extraction, processing and marketing activities. In the 1980s some development programmes were designed in order to modernize and boost the marble sector. Since then, it has become an international reference for ornamental stones. The sector has undergone a great transformation: from being a mining agglomeration to become an industrial district. This shift has provided the district with a great dynamism and resilience. Moreover, its competition position has considerably changed. It used to be based on comparative advantages but nowadays it is based on competitive advantages. In its heart a nodal enterprise Cosentino has emerged, which has become an international leader on a global scale.
The wine sector holds a prominent place within the whole Spanish food and agriculture industry. The importance given to this activity has also been transferred to the international market where Spain holds a position of leadership, both in terms of production as in overseas sales. A large number of the wine-producing firms in our country are located in industrial districts, which is to say in geographical areas characterised by a high concentration of small and medium-sized companies whose productive organisation corresponds to a model based on flexible specialisation. In previous papers, it has been possible to verify how wine-producing industries located in industrial areas show greater efficiency in relation to rivals located in other types of environments. The aim of this article is to further research on the specific features of industrial districts which could explain their firms’ increase in efficiency. For the identification and quantification of these determining factors affecting productive efficiency, a methodology based on parametric adjustments models is to be used. An empirical application is to be carried out on a sample of Spanish wine producers for the years 2000 and 2010, extracted from the SABI database.
The aim of this paper is analyze the causes of fiscal slippage at the regional level in Spain during the period 2005-2015. According to results, the main factors are the deficit deviation of past year, the variation in the deficit target, total revenues provided by the regional financing system, the existence of changes of government and, to a lesser extent, political affinity between incumbents at both central and regional levels. On the contrary, spending increases in the past, the debt burden interest and the electoral cycle are not significant variables.
By using OECD Input-Output in three different periods of time: mid-1990’s, beginning and end of the 2000’s, we discuss the evolution of their economic structures and their sectors along with a comparison among their structural similarities, measures by their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in purchaser’s power parities (ppp). Structural changes and similarities are discussed using fields of influence. The results revealed that economies tend to be stable in their structures depending on their level of development and the profusion of their fields of influence, with the exception of two countries with low GDP per capita but economic structures of developed countries.
This article explains the role of scientific communities for the regional innovation, and the importance to seek scientific excellence, but also seek the relevance of their work in their socio-economic context. We study the case of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. For this purpose we were applied a questionnaire to 95 researchers. The results demonstrate that the scientific community has acquired national leadership for the quality of their contributions, however, its impact seldom goes beyond the academic environment. From this perspective, we argue that it is vital that the researchers not only strive for the quality of scientific publications, but they also look for meeting the local and regional development requirements.
Spain is one of the European countries with more municipalities adhering to the Local Agenda 21 (LA21). Environmental spending exerts a great influence on implementing LA21. But some authors raise doubts about the firm commitment of local governments to LA21 objectives.
Thus, the main objective of this paper is to verify whether political commitment is backed up with action towards meeting the objectives of sustainable development by means of budgetary support for waste management policies.
To accomplish this, we applied the Difference in Differences technique for the period 2002-2012 in the Spanish municipalities. Our initial results confirmed the original hypotheses and showed that local governments that adhered to LA21 were genuinely committed to achieving at least one LA21 goal and offering greater budgetary support for waste management. However, the sensitivity analysis revealed unexpectedly ambiguous evidence about the research question, in that we observed a great volatility of results depending on the sample and dependent variables chosen.
The main objective of this paper is to examine the effect of economic distance on academic scientific collaboration in peripherical countries in Southern Europe (period 2006-2010). For this purpose, we use co-publications as an indicator of collaboration. Besides, we explore the effect of other proximity notions argued in the extant literature. Our results show that economic distance promotes academic scientific collaboration, supporting the centre-periphery hypothesis. It is also shown that geographic, cognitive, institutional and social proximity facilitates scientific collaboration, while the effect of organizational proximity is not clear.
The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the importance of social exclusion and its relationship to economic growth in the main Mexican regions. The principal components technique was used to build a multi-dimensional indicator based on the information provided by the Mexican Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI), by taking into account the main factors provoking such exclusion. An econometric inference on the regional growth was made using the spatial panel data to find the direct and indirect effects that it has on the social exclusion in the different regions of this country.
The unavailability of geographically disaggregated information does not allow obtaining empirical evidence in order to answer some important questions in the field of urban and regional economics. The objective of this work is to calculate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at local level, for the 42 municipalities of Valle del Cauca – Colombia in 2010, using ecological inference techniques based on entropy models that have already been applied in Spain and Mexico with satisfactory results.
The proposed method and the application of ecological inference allows of the GDP disaggregated by the 11 economic sectors, a pioneering and very useful work in the region.
Public sector could play a crucial role as consumer to foster innovation through public procurement of innovation (PPI). PPI is a R&D, innovation and development policy tool, which shows high potential and relevance in OECD economies. In comparison with other tools, its main advantages are guaranteeing a considerable launch market for innovations developed by the private sector, as well as reducing risks linked with new and expensive technologies. For the public sector, this tool improves the efficiency and quality of public services, and contributes to reduce costs in the medium and long term.
The main aim of this paper is to analyze the experience on PPI in Spain from a regional perspective, focused on types, funding, main sectors, areas of development, and results in products and services. Ninety cases are analyzed from an own-made database, in which a similar behavior among regions is noticed. Nonetheless, several differences are found regarding the relevance of sectors and European funding. Concerning the sectors, industry and services are the predominant activities in the most developed and innovative regions, highlighting knowledge-intensive activities. European funding constitutes a crucial element to implement PPI in less developed and innovative regions.
The results suggest that different levels of innovation and development determine the effectiveness of PPI and the development of innovations.
The early leaving from education and training rate is a basic indicator in the education system that has influence on economic and social structure. Thus, its reduction is a priority for the Europe 2020 Strategy. Spain has the highest early school leaving rate among the European Union, showing strong interregional differences. This article studies the impact of educational, economic and sociocultural factors on the early school leaving rate at the NUTS2 regions. We have applied a panel data methodology for the period 2001 to 2011. Among other results, expenditure on education appears as a relevant measure for tackling this problem.
The aim of the study is to analyze the impact of public support on R&D investment among Catalan firms. The text approaches the analysis from a triple perspective. Firstly, it details the characteristics of Catalan firms that have benefitted from public support for R&D. Secondly, it establishes whether public support fulfills the principle of additionality and stimulates the innovative efforts of Catalan companies. And thirdly, it analyses whether support affects the composition of private investments in R&D. To address these issues, we have information provided by the questionnaires of the Community Innovative Survey (CIS) which, based on a sample of 3,410 Catalan firms, reflect the aid received during the period 2010-2012. A two-stage Heckman model is applied during the econometric development to correct sample selection bias. Of the results obtained, two stand out. On the one hand, public support produces a positive effect on the innovative efforts of Catalan firms; and on the other, government support alters the composition of the R&D investments of innovative Catalan firms in favour of the investments with lower risk and closer to the market.
This paper develops a model which integrates the foral or cupo system applied to the Basque Country and Navarre, the common system applied to the other fifteen Spanish autonomous communities and the central government budget. The model shows that the theoretical cupo it generates is nothing more than an indirect form of measuring the equalising transfer between the central government and the corresponding autonomous jurisdiction. The cupo form per se is completely neutral: the foral jurisdictions operate exactly under the same financial conditions as the non-foral jurisdictions, despite that in the latter case the transfer is directly measured as the difference between expenditure needs and fiscal capacity. In the context of our model, the cause of the foral economic advantage is the particular imputation procedure developed by the cupo law, which clearly biases the scales in favour of the foral and, therefore, against the non-foral communities. An economic advantage of the foral respect to the aggregate of the non-foral communities that, even if only referred to the design of the cupo, we have estimated at 29.8% in the case of the Basque Country and at 28.2% in the case on Navarre. These calculations should be interpreted as a lower bound on the foral advantage. The model has clear implications for reform.
The objective of this research is to examine empirically the relationship between labor productivity and human capital with regional poverty in Ecuador. In order to correct the bias caused by endogeneity and the omission of spatial dependence, we used regressions with instrumental variables and spatial econometric techniques. We estimated two sets of regressions. In the first, the dependent variable is the poverty rate and the independent variable is human capital. In the second, the poverty rate is a function of labor productivity. In both sets of models we include covariates associated with the social and economic characteristics of the regions. The results show that labor productivity and human capital can be public policy mechanisms to reduce poverty in less developed regions with spillover effects in neighboring regions.
The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) predicts that environmental degradation intensifies when per capita income increases and subsequently subsides after a certain income level is reached, resulting in an inverted U-shaped relationship. There is abundant literature on the topic that corroborates the existence of a positive income elasticity for environmental quality. However, results are controversial.
We take the case of CO2, by comparing the results of the cross-sectional estimates with those derived from a panel approach. To this end, we use data from 182 countries during the period 1992-2011. We found that the EKC hypothesis is acceptable under both approaches, although the estimated turning points in cross-sections seem unreliable. Our application underlines the importance of adequately address central problems such as heterogeneity, structural breaks and spatial interaction.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the degree of consensus in the literature on the impact of institutions on economic growth, for which we differentiate between three dimensions: economic, political and social institutions. After a literature review from 1990 to today, as main conclusion we find that, generally, the revised authors find a positive effect of economic institutions and social capital and negative effect of political instability, while political freedom has less clear results. On the other hand, it can also be concluded that there are insufficient studies on the differences in the estimated effects and the sequence of implementation between dimensions, showing the necessity of more empirical analysis about this topic.
The objective of this work is to provide an exploratory analysis of the economic effects of various Operational Programs implemented in Extremadura, the only Spanish region that, in the context of the European Cohesion Policy, still remains in the group of less developed regions (with a per capita income lower than 75% of the European average). After carrying out an examination of some of the most relevant socio-economic characteristics of Extremadura, a homogeneous summary of the expenditure made during the programming periods 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 is included as a starting point, followed by a brief description of the general spending guidelines in the current period (2014-2020). Subsequently, a review of the works that have estimated the contribution of the European cohesion policy to the growth of Extremadura production and employment during the periods 1994-1999, 2000-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 is presented. As results, some of the quantifications existing in the literature on the economic effects of the different multiannual financial frameworks are systematized. The conclusions obtained highlight the importance of the European territorial cohesion policy for regions that, like Extremadura, are affected by important structural weaknesses that make their prosperity and competitiveness very difficult.
In this article, we start with the origins of «institutional cross-border cooperation» in Europe, covering up to today’s «territorial cooperation». We define and compare the concepts of «institutional cooperation» and «traditional cooperation», focusing on analyzing the former and predicting an approximation between the two types of cooperation. We describe the main legal framework for «institutional cross-border cooperation» and analyse its main instruments, placing special attention on the Euroregion, the European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) and the more recent figure of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), all of which are important references for territorial cooperation in Europe. We finish with some brief references to the current European integration project, in which border management has become an exceptional test Bedfor deciphering certain keys in this construction process.
Historical Evolution, Analytical Categorisations and Institutional Challenges of Metropolitanisation