How Do Regions Diversify Over Time? Related Variety and Regional Innovation Policy

Thursday May 24

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Thu May 24 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM 108N, North House


Ron Boschma
Ron Boschma Professor in regional economics Urban and Regional Research Centre Utrecht (URU) Section of Economic Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University Director of Urban and Regional Research Centre Utrecht (URU) Affilliate London School of Economics (LSE), Spatial Economics Research Centre

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Deborah Huntley


Related variety is important for regional growth because it induces knowledge transfer between complementary industries at the regional level. In addition, it provides a major input to the process of regional diversification in which new industries branch out of related industries. This is accomplished through spinoffs and labor mobility, among others, which transfer knowledge and skills from related industries to new industries. Some studies will be presented to demonstrate their empirical relevance. Finally, we claim that regional innovation policy should embrace concepts like related variety and regional branching, because these provide opportunties for but also set limits to the development of new growth paths in regions.