Show Less

Innovative Places in Europe

Research Clustering, Co-Patenting Networks and the Growth of Regions


Julian Phillip Christ

Regional disparities and spatial clustering are ubiquitous in today’s world. This study contributes with empirical findings on the distribution of European research and patenting activity since the 1980s at the regional level. Besides a general theoretical part, it offers a quantitative clustering analysis, which makes use of EPO patent applications and a harmonized regional and technological classification. Moreover, the pan-European study incorporates a structural analysis of inter-regional co-patenting networks at the regional and technological level that covers the 1990s and 2000s. Finally, European regional income and growth disparities are addressed by placing emphasis on the spatial distribution of research activity and the regional settlement structure.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

1. Innovative Places in Europe


1.1. Introduction and Motivation Regional disparities and the processes of regional divergence and spatial clustering are ubiquitous in today’s world. Researchers frequently point to the emergence and existence of dense urban areas and systems of cities around the globe (Krugman, 2009; Desmet and Rossi-Hansberg, 2010; Henderson, 2010).1 They discuss the nature of the emergence and growth of metropolises, megalopolises and large core cities along seaboards and rivers, which are connected to large industrial belts (Acs, 2002; Fujita and Krugman, 2003; Combes and Overman, 2004).2 Accordingly, the spatial clustering of production and employment is ubiquitous in regions across the world and is considered to be only partially dependent on physical geography. Hinloopen and van Marrewijk (2004) reported an uneven distribution, irrespective of the kind of activity or level of economic and regional aggregation.3 In the same vein, Krugman (1992, 5) has argued: “Step back and ask, what is the most striking feature of the geography of economic activity? The short answer is surely concentration [...] production is remarkably concentrated in space.” Once a core of economic activity has been established, be it a large city or an agglomerated region, it increases in overall size and processes of self-reinforcement increase its importance due to centripetal (agglomerative) forces and cumulative circular causation (Duranton and Puga, 2004; Combes et al., 2008). Accordingly, the propensity of economic clustering can be observed on many spatial levels: the spread of blocks and downtown areas of metropolises; the formation of megalopolises; core-periphery structures at the regional level;...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.