The impact of related variety on regional growth in Italy in the period 1995-2003

Ron Boschma, Department of Economic Geography, Faculty of GeoSciences, Utrecht University

This paper makes an attempt to estimate the impact of agglomeration economies on local economic growth by means of detailed export and import data by Italian province (NUTS 3) by sector (3-digit) by country of destination/origin for the period 1995-2003. The first objective is to assess the impact of related and unrelated variety and other types of agglomeration economies (e.g. localisation and urbanisation economies) on local growth. More in particular, we investigate whether provinces endowed with sectors that are complementary in terms of shared competences (i.e. having related variety) perform better. The second objective of the paper is to assess the effects of the breadth and relatedness of international linkages on local growth. We test whether the presence of extra-local linkages, as embodied in a diversified and complementary set of trade linkages, generates additional economic growth, as it may bring new and related variety into the province.

About the speaker
Ron Boschma is Professor in Regional Economics at the Department of Economic Geography of the University of Utrecht. He graduated in Economic Geography at the University of Amsterdam in 1988. He did his PhD in Economics at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, which he completed in 1994. He was active as a research fellow at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Bologna during the period 1995-1996. He got an associate professorship at the University of Twente in 1996. Since 1998, he is affiliated to Utrecht University. Currently, he is head of a research group that aims to work out conceptually and empirically the outlines of Evolutionary Economic Geography. He has widely published in international journals covering topics like Evolutionary Economic Geography, spatial evolution of industries, regional systems of innovation, industrial districts, social capital and regional development. As promoter, he is currently active in 9 PhD projects on Evolutionary Economic Geography.

Venue: Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht

Date: 15 November 2007

Time: 16:00 - 17:00