Regional Governance: Begriffe, Wirkungszusammenhänge und Evaluationsansätze

The term governance describes structures and processes for the intentional steering of collective societal matters, typically addressed in concurrence by actors of state, economy and civil society. In the German-speaking community, the term “regional governance”, which corresponds to „local governance” in the English language, is well-established in the spatial sciences. The purpose of this work is to display and newly systematize the state of knowledge about regional governance. Therefore, possibilities for empirical research as well as restrictions for impact analyses are elaborated. Up to now, there is no common and generally acknowledged definition of governance. To enable a clea..

Economic Geography

The drivers of SME innovation in the regions of the EU

European Union (EU) innovation policies have for long remained mostly research driven. The fundamental goal has been to achieve a rate of R&D investment of 3% of GDP. Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) innovation, however, relies on a variety of internal sources —both R&D and non-R&D based— and external drivers, such as collaboration with other firms and research centres, and is profoundly influence by location and context. Given this multiplicity of innovation activities, this study argues that innovation policies fundamentally based on a place-blind increase of R&D investment may not deliver the best outcomes in regions where the capacity of SMEs is to benefit from R&D is limited...

Economic Geography

The Heterogeneous Impacts of Higher Education Institutions on Regional Firm Location: Evidence from the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences

The empirical literature on knowledge spillovers provides evidence that higher education institutions (HEIs) have positive effects on regional firm location, i.e., the number of start-ups or firms located in a region. However, less is known about how HEIs in different fields of study impact regional firm location in different industries. To estimate effects on firm location in different industries, we exploit the establishment of universities of applied sciences (UASs)-bachelor degree-granting three-year HEIs in Switzerland-in different fields of study. We find that effects are heterogeneous and UASs specializing in "chemistry and life sciences" and "business, management, and services" are t..

Economic Geography

Is the monocentric urban economic model still empirically relevant? Assessing urban econometric predictions in 192 cities on five continents

Despite a large body of work that developed over more than 60 years, and numerous applications in theoretical papers, the empirical knowledge accumulated on the monocentric urban model and its extensions remains limited. Using a unique dataset gathering spatially explicit data on rents, population densities, housing sizes, and transport times in neighborhoods inside 192 cities on all continents, we investigate on a systematic basis the empirical relevance of the key stylized facts predicted by this model. Some of these predictions appear extremely robust: cities are more spread out when they are richer, more populated, and when transportation or agricultural land is less costly, and 95\% of ..

Economic Geography

Towards a dynamic spatial microsimulation model for projecting Auckland’s spatial distribution of ethnic groups

In this paper we describe the development, calibration and validation of a dynamic spatial microsimulation model for projecting small area (area unit) ethnic populations in Auckland, New Zealand. The key elements of the microsimulation model are a module that projects spatial mobility (migration) within Auckland and between Auckland and the rest of the world, and a module that projects ethnic mobility. The model is developed and calibrated using 1996-2001 New Zealand Linked Census (i.e. longitudinal) data, and then projected forward to 2006. We then compare the results with the actual 2006 population. We find that in terms of indexes of overall residential sorting and ethnic diversity, our p..

Economic Geography

Spatial regression graph convolutional neural networks: A deep learning paradigm for spatial multivariate distributions

Geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) has emerged as a subfield of GIScience that uses artificial intelligence approaches and machine learning techniques for geographic knowledge discovery. The non-regularity of data structures has recently led to different variants of graph neural networks in the field of computer science, with graph convolutional neural networks being one of the most prominent that operate on non- euclidean structured data where the numbers of nodes connections vary and the nodes are unordered. These networks use graph convolution - commonly known as filters or kernels - in place of general matrix multiplication in at least one of their layers. This paper suggests spa..

Economic Geography

Migration as a Vector of Economic Losses from Disaster-Affected Areas in the United States

In this paper, we infuse consideration of migration into research on economic losses from extreme weather disasters. Taking a comparative case study approach and using data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel, we document the size of economic losses via migration from 23 disaster-affected areas in the United States after the most damaging hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires on record. We then employ demographic standardization and decomposition to determine if these losses primarily reflect changes in out-migration or changes in the economic resources that migrants take with them (greater economic losses per migrant). Finally, we consider the implications..

Economic Geography

Counterfactual Dissimilarity: Can Changes in Demographics and Income Explain Increased Racial Integration in U.S. Cities?

Urban areas in the U.S. have experienced important changes in racial/ethnic distributions over the last two decades. In the average urban area today black-white racial integration has increased by 10.6 percent between 1990 and 2010. Changes in racial and ethnic distributions and gentrification are often associated with changes in residents’ demographic characteristics, such as income, education and age. This paper applies a non-parametric spatial decomposition technique using complete (restricted-use) microdata files from the 1990 Decennial Long Form Census and 2008-2012 American Community Surveys to assess what portion of the changes in racial distributions can be attributed to chang..

Economic Geography

Market Size and Spatial Growth - Evidence from Germany’s Post-War Population Expulsions

Virtually all theories of economic growth predict a positive relationship between population size and productivity. In this paper I study a particular historical episode to provide direct evidence for the empirical relevance of such scale effects. In the aftermath of the Second World War about 8m ethnic Germans were expelled from their domiciles in Eastern Europe and transferred to West Germany. This inflow increased the German population by almost 20%. Using variation across counties I show that the settlement of refugees had a large and persistent effect on the size of the local population, manufacturing employment and income per capita. I show that these findings are quantitatively consis..

Economic Geography

The Causal Effects of Place on Health and Longevity

Life expectancy varies substantially across local regions within a country, raising conjectures that place of residence affects health. However, population sorting and other confounders make it difficult to disentangle the effects of place on health from other geographic differences in life expectancy. Recent studies have overcome such challenges to demonstrate that place of residence substantially influences health and mortality. Whether policies that encourage people to move to places that are better for their health or that improve areas that are detrimental to health are desirable depends on the mechanisms behind place effects, yet these mechanisms remain poorly understood.

Economic Geography

Spillover in the UK Housing Market

We study spillovers between regional housing markets in the UK in the period 1973 to 2020. The analysis is based on a vector autoregressive model that allows for structural breaks in its parameters at unknown times. In particular, we allow for distinct breakpoints in the conditional mean, variance and correlation parameters, which enables us to distinguish different spillover channels. Based on the resulting piecewise constant model we compute the spillover index by Diebold and Yilmaz. We find significant time variation of the spillover index that indicates a decreasing role of London for the rest of the country, but that also indicates reduced contagion risk and the existence of the North-S..

Economic Geography

But clouds got in my way: Bias and bias correction of VIIRS nighttime lights data in the presence of clouds

The VIIRS nighttime lights dataset constitutes progress in the measurement of night lights radiance, with monthly data at a pixel of roughly 0.5km × 0.5km. We identify a downward bias in the reported radiance when the number of cloud-free images in a month is low. This bias often takes on large values from -10% to -30%. We develop a cautious bias-correction scheme which partially addresses this problem. This scheme is applied upon the pixel-level dataset to create an improved dataset. The bias-corrected data hews closer to the ground truth as seen in household survey data.

Economic Geography

Geographies of Knowledge Sourcing and the Value of Knowledge in Multilocational Firms

A growing body of research in economic geography, international business management and related fields focuses on geographies of knowledge sourcing. This work examines the organizational structure of innovation activities within the firm, the mechanisms by which knowledge is extracted from various external sources and the geography of these different activities. We augment this literature by exploring knowledge sourcing within multilocational firms operating in the US using a unique dataset matching patent records to firm-level ownership and geographical data. The results add value to existing research in three ways. First, the establishments of multilocational corporations are shown to prod..

Economic Geography

The Geography of Job Creation and Job Destruction

Spatial differences in labor market performance are large and highly persistent. Using data from the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, we document striking similarities in spatial differences in unemployment, vacancies, job finding, and job filling within each country. This robust set of facts guides and disciplines the development of a theory of local labor market performance. We find that a spatial version of a Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model with endogenous separations and on-the-job search quantitatively accounts for all the documented empirical regularities. The model also quantitatively rationalizes why differences in job-separation rates have primary importance in ind..

Economic Geography

Location, Location, Location

We use longitudinal data from the LEHD to study the causal effect of location on earnings. We specify a model for log earnings that includes worker effects and fixed effects for different commuting zones (CZs) fully interacted with industry, allowing us to capture potential impacts of local specialization. Building on recent work on firm-specific wage setting, we show that a simple additive model provides a good approximation to observed changes in log earnings when people move across CZ’s and/or industries, though it takes a couple of quarters for migrants to fully realize the gains of a move. We also show that the earnings premiums for different CZ-industry pairs are nearly separable in ..

Economic Geography

The Political Geography of Cities

We study the link between subnational capital cities and urban development using a global data set of hundreds of first-order administrative and capital city reforms from 1987 until 2018. We show that gaining subnational capital status has a sizable effect on city growth in the medium run. We provide new evidence that the effect of these reforms depends on locational fundamentals, such as market access, and that the effect is greater in countries where urbanization and industrialization occurred later. Consistent with both an influx of public investments and a private response of individuals and firms, we document that urban built-up, population, foreign aid, infrastructure, and foreign dire..

Economic Geography

Is temperature adversely related to economic growth? Evidence on the short-run and the long-run links from sub-national data

We investigate the effect of rising temperatures on economic development, using sub-national data for approximately 1,500 sub-national regions in 81 countries from the 1950s to the 2010s. Accounting for region- and time-fixed factors by means of a two-way fixed effects panel approach, we find no evidence that rising temperatures are adversely related to regional growth measured as changes in regional per capita gross domestic product (GDP). In addition to a panel setting, we also consider the long-run analogue of the panel model, exploring the relationship between regional temperature and growth over longer time periods. Applying this long-difference approach, we find evidence of a statistic..

Economic Geography

Difference-in-Differences with Geocoded Microdata

This paper formalizes a common approach for estimating effects of treatment at a specific location using geocoded microdata. This estimator compares units immediately next to treatment (an inner-ring) to units just slightly further away (an outer-ring). I introduce intuitive assumptions needed to identify the average treatment effect among the affected units and illustrates pitfalls that occur when these assumptions fail. Since one of these assumptions requires knowledge of exactly how far treatment effects are experienced, I propose a new method that relaxes this assumption and allows for nonparametric estimation using partitioning-based least squares developed in Cattaneo et. al. (2019). S..

Economic Geography

Agglomeration and the Italian North-South divide

This paper offers novel evidence on agglomeration economies by examining the link between total factor productivity (TFP) and employment density in Italy. TFP is estimated for a large sample of manufacturing firms and then aggregated at the level of Local Labor Market Areas (LLMAs). We tackle the endogeneity issues stemming from the presence of omitted covariates and reverse causation with an instrumental variable (IV) approach that relies on his-torical and geological data. Our estimate of the TFP elasticity with respect to the spatial con-centration of economic activities is about 6%, a magnitude comparable to that measured for other developed countries. We find that the TFP-density nexus ..

Economic Geography

On the Persistence of the China Shock

Abstract We evaluate the duration of the China trade shock and its impact on a wide range of outcomes over the period 2000 to 2019. The shock plateaued in 2010, enabling analysis of its effects for nearly a decade past its culmination. Adverse impacts of import competition on manufacturing employment, overall employment-population ratios, and income per capita in more trade-exposed U.S. commuting zones are present out to 2019. Over the full study period, greater import competition implies a reduction in the manufacturing employment-population ratio of 1.54 percentage points, which is 55% of the observed change in the value, and the absorption of 86% of this net job loss via a corresponding d..

Economic Geography

The Geography of Job Creation and Job Destruction

Spatial differences in labor market performance are large and highly persistent. Using data from the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, we document striking similarities in spatial differences in unemployment, vacancies, job finding, and job filling within each country. This robust set of facts guides and disciplines the development of a theory of local labor market performance. We find that a spatial version of a Diamond-Mortensen-Pissarides model with endogenous separations and on-the-job search quantitatively accounts for all the documented empirical regularities. The model also quantitatively rationalizes why differences in job-separation rates have primary importance in ind..

Economic Geography

Persistence, Randomization, and Spatial Noise

Historical persistence studies and other regressions using spatial data commonly have severely inflated t statistics, and different standard error adjustments to correct for this return markedly different estimates. This paper proposes a simple randomization inference procedure where the significance level of an explanatory variable is measured by its ability to outperform synthetic noise with the same estimated spatial structure. Spatial noise, in other words, acts as a treatment randomization in an artificial experiment based on correlated observational data. Combined with Müller and Watson (2021), randomization gives a way to estimate credible confidence intervals for spatial regressions..

Economic Geography

Do Cohesion Funds foster regional trade integration? A structural gravity analysis for the EU regions

This paper uses a structural gravity model to explore the regional trade and welfare impact of the EU Cohesion Policy Transport Infrastructure Investment programme estimated using a novel dataset of the Generalised Transport Costs for the EU regions at the NUTS2 level. The results indicate that on average additional investment in transport infrastructure can increase NUTS2 total regional exports by 0.40% and regional real GDP 1.13%. Central and Eastern European Regions enjoy the highest exports and GDP gains, while few Western European regions experience a negligible decrease in wages, which may occur as a result of factor price convergence.

Economic Geography

Alone and Lonely. The economic cost of solitude for regions in Europe

Solitude is a rising phenomenon in the western world. The number of people affected by solitude has been rising for some time and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought this trend to the fore. Yet, we know next to nothing about the aggregate subnational economic consequences of the rise in solitude. In this paper we analyse the consequences of solitude on regional economic performance across Europe, distinguishing between two of its key dimensions: alone living, proxied by the regional share of the population in one-person households; and loneliness, proxied by the aggregate share of social interactions. We find that solitude has important implications for economic development, but that these go ..

Economic Geography

Behind the Italian Regional Divide: An Economic Fitness and Complexity Perspective

This paper applies the Economic Fitness and Complexity approach to analyse the underlying factors behind the wide and persistent economic disparities across the Italian regional units. Measures of regional fitness are obtained from their revealed comparative advantage and from their patent performance. Southern regions tend to be characterised by a lower level of complexity than the regions in the Centre-North of the country. We interpret these results as indicating a lower level of capability endowment in the South. The system-wide approach of the paper is able to identify some critical sectors which display a rich pattern of connections with other sectors and which could play a pivotal rol..

Economic Geography

Regional technological capabilities and Green opportunities in Europe

The goal of the paper is to elaborate an empirical overview of green technological development in European regions. This is a timely pursuit considering the ambitious commitments stipulated in the recent European Green Deal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Our analysis is organised in three steps. First, we map the geographical distribution of innovative activities in Europe and profile regions in terms of technological capabilities. Second, we elaborate a metric to identify regions' green innovation potential. Third, we check whether possessing comparative advantage in specific technological domains is associated with a region's capacity to develop green technologies.

Economic Geography

The Causal Effect of Transport Infrastructure: Evidence from a New Historical Database

In this paper, we analyze the effect of transport infrastructure investments in railways. As a testing ground, we use data from a new historical database that includes annual panel data on approximately 2,400 Swedish rural geographical areas during the period 1860-1917. We use a staggered event study design that is robust to treatment effect heterogeneity. Importantly, we find extremely large reduced-form effects of having access to railways. For real nonagricultural income, the cumulative treatment effect is approximately 130% after 30 years. Equally important, we also show that our reduced-form effect is likely to reflect growth rather than a reorganization of existing economic activity si..

Economic Geography

Transportation and Quality of Life: Evidence from Denmark

This paper investigates the importance of transportation for quality of life in Denmark. We first calibrate a simple general equilibrium model to analyse how local wage levels, housing costs, and commuting costs vary across urban areas as well as to construct a quality of life index that measures a representative household's willingness to pay for local amenities. We find that the quality of life is high in large cities. Wages and rents are also substantially higher in the urban areas that are dense. We then regress the quality of life index on observed amenities to infer how much quality of life is associated with transportation. Our empirical results suggest that the quality of the public ..

Economic Geography

Unbalanced Growth in the Labourscape: explaining regional employment divergence

This paper investigates the role of human capital in explaining divergent employment growth within advanced economies. It adds a spatial dimension to William J. Baumol’s theory of ‘unbalanced growth’ by linking it with the concept of ‘job polarization’. We develop a theory of ‘geographical unbalanced growth’ that explains divergent employment trajectories in terms of skill restructuring. The theory is operationalized via a novel shift–share extension, which is applied to Australian data. We find evidence of ongoing regional divergence and for our proposed mechanism. The findings reinforce the importance of active policies to attract high-skilled jobs to non-metropolitan regio..

Economic Geography

The Pitfalls of Using Location Quotients to Identify Clusters and Represent Industry Specialization in Small Regions

This paper examines the use of location quotients, a measure of regional business activity relative to the national benchmark, as an indicator of sectoral agglomeration in small cities and towns, and as a measure of industry specialization that might impact the number of new business startups in these places. Using establishment-level data on businesses located in Maine, our findings suggest that the addition of one "hypothetical" establishment in very small towns leads to a dramatic change in the magnitude of the region-industry location quotient. At population sizes of about 4,100 or more people, however, location quotients are reasonably stable. Regression results from an analysis of the ..

Economic Geography