PhD defence by Polina Knutsson on Empirical Studies of Firm and Labor Market Dynamics

We are happy to announce that Polina Knutsson, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and at the Department of Economics at Lund University, will defend her thesis with the title “Empirical Studies on Firm and Labor Market Dynamics”

Opponent: Professor Jens Suedekum, Heinrich-Heine University
Date/Time: 2020-05-14 at 14.15
Place: EC3:210 Ekonomicentrum, Lund.
If you wish to attend via Zoom, sign up following the link in the announcement on latest May 13th to receive an invitation to the zoom meeting. 

This thesis consists of three self-contained papers. The first paper, Sorting on Unobserved Skills into New Firms, adds to the literature on worker characteristics and post-entry firm performance by putting the unobserved quality of workers in the center of analysis. Although human capital features prominently in theoretical work on the post-entry performance of new firms, empirical analysis has largely overlooked the unobserved component of human capital, focusing instead on years of education or labor market experience. I find strong evidence that new firms, on average, employ workers of lower unobserved quality relative to incumbent firms.

The second paper, The Spatial Dimension of Import Competition, contributes to the literature on import competition by assessing whether the distance between producers and importers within a country matters for import competition effects at the product level. Using detailed geographical information about the location of all manufacturing firms in Sweden during the period 2005–2014, we find strong evidence of an increased efficiency in the domestic production when imports surge, but that the effect diminishes with the distance between the producer and the importer.

The third paper, Lasting Effects of an Import Shock: Channels of Adjustment, exploits a quasi-natural experiment to study the channels of labor market adjustment to an import shock. Using matched employer–employee data from Sweden, I study workers’ adjustment after the removal of quotas set out by the Multi-Fiber Arrangement for Chinese producers upon China’s entry into the WTO. I find evidence of substantial losses in terms of earnings and employment. Sectoral mobility mitigates a portion of these losses, but gives rise to substantial adjustment frictions. The largest losses accrue to workers with skills specific to the exposed industry. Some losses are recovered through mobility across labor markets, but only workers in high-skill occupations benefit from this channel.

Welcome to Polina’s PhD defence!

Keep an eye on her personal website.

Final PhD seminar with Lucinda David on Closures, Resilience and the role of Agency – ONLINE

Lucinda David, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and the Department of Human geography, Lund University, will present her PhD project with a title A tale of two closures: How agency found its way home”, consisting of three solo-authored articles, preceded by a kappa. The final seminar is the last opportunity for the PhD candidate to present her work and receive feedback before the PhD defence.


Date/Time: Wednesday 25th of March 2020, 13:15- 15.00 

DIGITALLY find us here: Meeting ID: 665 864 078.

In person: Flygeln, Department of Human Geography, Sölvegatan 10, Lund.

Opponent: Markku Sotarauta from Tampere University (Finland)

Paper1: David, Lucinda. 2018. Agency and resilience in the time of regional economic crisis. European Planning Studies 26(5), pp. 1041-1059

Paper 2: David, Lucinda. How term limits constrain the emergence of agency. To be revised and resubmitted in March 2020. 

Paper 3: David, Lucinda. A Meta-analysis of case studies on place leadership from 2009-2019 using a qualitative comparative analysis. To be submitted.


For more information please contact

You are most welcome to attend!

PhD defence by Johan Miörner on Regional innovation system dynamics and new industrial path development

We are glad to announce that Johan Miörner, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and at the Department of Human Geography at Lund University, will defend his thesis with the Skärmavbild 2019-12-11 kl. 17.55.07.pngtitle “(Re-)shaping regional economies Regional innovation system dynamics and new industrial path development

Opponent: Professor Stig-Erik Jakobsen from the Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences).
Date/Time: Tuesday 17/12 2019 at 10.00 am
Place: room Världen, Geocentrum I, Sölvegatan 10, Lund.

Abstract: This dissertation explores the complexities of regional economic restructuring. It casts a light on how regional environments are ‘reconfigured’ in relation to the transformation of existing regional industries and the development of new ones. More specifically, the aim is to advance our understanding of regional innovation system (RIS) reconfiguration in relation to new regional industrial path development. The theoretical discussion is anchored in a broad perspective of new regional industrial path development that has emerged at the intersection of different strands of literature in Skärmavbild 2019-12-11 kl. 17.07.11.pngeconomic geography.

The dissertation contributes to the academic debate by 1) developing a novel conceptual framework for analysing RISs from a ‘functional’ perspective, focusing on how system functions facilitate the provision of assets to regional actors; 2) investigating RIS dynamics, by disentangling the modes and types of RIS reconfiguration and factors determining RIS reconfiguration capacity; 3) exploring the interplay between historically developed context conditions and the role played by reflexive agents, zooming in on the evolving characteristics of RIS reconfiguration unfolding in different regional contexts.

Empirically, the dissertation investigates processes of RIS reconfiguration and/or new industrial path development in four Swedish regions (Scania, West Sweden, and the city-regions of Linköping and Karlskrona) and one cross-border region (the Öresund region, encompassing the Swedish region of Scania and the Danish region of Zealand). Different types and stages of new path development in different industries are under scrutiny: the emergence of a digital games industry in Scania, the emergence and long-term development of IT industries in Karlskrona and Linköping, and substantial changes to the automotive industry in West Sweden based on the development of self-driving cars.

The findings illustrate the complexity of structure-agency dynamics involved in new industrial path development. They point at the ways through which actors not only change, but also re-interpret and re-purpose existing structures, in order to alter the functioning of the RIS. The empirical analysis also highlight that securing the provision of assets relevant for new industrial paths include developing RIS structures in order to form assets within the region, and ways through which actors change the functioning of the RIS by developing structures for accessing or transplanting system functions from other regions. Furthermore, the findings situate RIS reconfiguration as a core component of new industrial path development and extend existing perspectives by 1) shedding light on changes in different dimensions of the RIS and 2) highlighting the role of RIS reconfiguration in the later stages the path development process, thus not only limited to ‘set the scene’ for industrial change processes.

Finally, the dissertation offers valuable insights in relation to the design and implementation of innovation policy, such as smart specialisation. It suggests that the identification of regional priorities could benefit from taking a functional perspective and shows that the ‘opening up’ of existing RIS structures for asset provision can be a fruitful strategy across different regional contexts. By paying more attention to system functions, the reflexivity of actors and structure-agency dynamics, the dissertation provides policymakers with insights that are useful when designing transformational roadmaps and smart specialisation strategies.

Welcome to Johan’s PhD defence!

Open position: Postdoctoral fellowship in Innovation Studies at CIRCLE and the Department of Business Administration

Dear network,
we are happy to announce one open position for post-doctoral researcher at CIRCLE and the Department of Business Administration, Lund University.

We are seeking a highly motivated researcher in Innovation Studies, with a specialization in international companies. The candidate should also be familiar with quantitative methods and large-scale datasets.

The postdoctoral candidate will work within the research program “Sweden’s position in global value chains”, a project coordinated by CIRCLE. The aim of the project is to illustrate the integration of the Swedish innovation system into global research and innovation networks. The project’s research activities are aimed at analyzing specific channels through which multinational companies contribute to the development of innovative capacity in their host countries. This includes spin-offs from multinational companies, acquisition patterns for tech companies, and the ability to attract international expertise.

Application deadline: 31st January 2020.


Contact: Claudio Fassio, Senior lecturer, +46 46 222 98 93,

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We are looking forward to welcoming the new colleague!




New series – “Coffee Break With Researchers” – latest scientific insights in minutes

Welcome to the new series “Coffee Break with Researchers” that will summarize new research in just a few minutes, most often around six minutes.Skärmavbild 2019-10-15 kl. 17.22.13.png

Latest coffee break is with one of our brilliant researchers Jing Xiao on “Industrial Diversification and The Role of Relatedness” (with R. Boschma and M. Andersson)

Markus Grillitsch, founder and director of the new initiative, has informed that he and colleagues have recently launched this online platform aiming at spreading scientific knowledge about regional development and innovation worldwide via online chats with researchers over a cup of coffee.

They have developed a YouTube channel to which you can subscribeAnd a website where you can also find the schedule of the upcoming Coffee Breaks. The first five Coffee Breaks with Researchers were with Björn Asheim, Cristina Chaminade, Margaret Cowell, Markku Sotarauta, and Franz Tödtling. They will publish a Coffee Break every week on Friday and the upcoming ones are with:

Danny MacKinnon on “Rethinking Path Creation” (with S. Dawley, A. Pike and A. Cumbers)
Rhiannon Pugh “Universities and economic development: ‘Triple helix’ policy”

Invitation: If you are interested in having a Coffee Break with them to give more visibility to your paper or send them comments to improve, please write an email to Markus or They aim at featuring diversity in terms of perspectives, gender, seniority, and geographic coverage.

See you at the Coffee break, what are you drinking?

PhD defence by John Källström on Mobility in Science

We are glad to announce that John Källström, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and at the Department of Economics  at Lund University, will defend his thesis with the Skärmavbild 2019-10-12 kl. 11.39.49.pngtitle Mobility in Science

Opponent: Professor John McHale, National University of Ireland Galway.
Date/Time: Friday, October 11, 2019, 10.15 am
Place: EC3:211, Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum, Lund.

Abstract: The thesis consists of three independent chapters. The chapters are all empirical studies of scientists and the role that different types ofmobility play in shaping researchers’ scientific output and careers.

Skärmavbild 2019-10-07 kl. 08.30.00.pngChapter 1, uses the liberalization of Swedish work migration, in 2008, to study the effect of immigration on the publishing productivity of incumbent academics in Sweden. The reform led to a sharp increase in the number of Asian academic researchers and PhD-students coming to Sweden. Identification relies on both the suddenness of the supply shock and that departments with past exposure to Asian migration saw relatively larger inflows of Asian migrants. Results show that the supply shock increased the publication output of incumbent researchers. Positive effects are found to be mainly explained by increased publishing productivity of already prolific incumbent researchers. For less productive incumbents, evidence instead suggests crowding-out effects and reduced productivity.

Chapter 2, studies the effects of inter-university mobility on researcher productivity. The study suggests substantial gains from mobility on scientific output. Mobility effects are not explained by promotions taking place jointly with a move. Positive effects are found among individuals who move between universities and not for those who move to or from university colleges. Moreover, we find that the positive effect of moving only applies to researchers in medicine, natural sciences and engineering, and technology, with no effect of mobility found in the social sciences and the humanities.

Chapter 3, investigates the social background of PhD-graduates. Results suggest that parents’ characteristics are essential determinants for obtaining a PhD-level education. Of particular importance is if the parent also holds a PhD. This association is gender- and field-specific and is large in comparison to other sources of exposure to researcher careers in the childhood environment. Taken together, the results suggest that the family environment is crucial for obtaining a PhD-level education. Moreover, the study reveals that the existence of intergenerational spillovers also affects patenting and publishing behavior in a later research career.

Welcome to John’s PhD defence!

CIRCLE Kick-off 2019: We are growing – new structure with new Members and Affiliated Members

To start the new academic year, CIRCLE held the annual kick-off meeting with their new and old members. The meeting was covering news and information, revision of the research focus, the role of CIRCLE at Lund University for short and long terms and time to socialize, get to know the new members and catch up on the latest developments in each other’s work and life.


Deputy Director presenting the agenda: Magnus Nilsson, Associate professor at CIRCLE and the Department of Business Administration

The agenda was demanding and required many discussions as well as assignments and presentations by both senior and young researchers. One of the important topics discussed was the revision of the strategy and the future research focus of CIRCLE. Presentations covered current status of external communication and ongoing research, benchmarking to other international actors and providing suggestions for new directions for Circle.


Input from advisory board representative on the current state of affairs: Anna Bergek, Professor (chair) of Innovation Systems and Technology Policy at Chalmers University of Technology.


One of the future research strategy suggestions developed in a team and presented by Associate senior lecturer, Markus Grillitsch

Another important topic concerned the growth of CIRCLE and the new member structure which has been developed throughout the year and now is in place. CIRCLE members (21 researchers) and CIRCLE affiliated members (24 researchers) are the two categories for participation that come with benefits and commitments, approved based on the application. At the meeting CIRCLE could welcome seven new members which makes CIRCLE grow to 45 members in total.

You can find all names on our webpage :

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We are happy to welcome old and new members and wish to all an exciting start of the fall 2019!



CIRCLE Seminar with Jeffrey Orozco on Innovation and Sustainable Development in the tropics: the experience of Costa Rica

The title of the seminar: Innovation and Sustainable Development in the tropics: the experience of Costa Rica
Date: 5th of September 2019, Thursday at 12:00 – 13:00
Place: Sölvegatan, 16, MNO-huset, CIRCLE seminar room, M213

orozcoAbout the speaker: Jeffrey Orozco is a full-time professor and general director at the International Center for Economic Policy for Sustainable Development –CINPE,  National University, Costa Rica. His topics of interest for research are at the intersection of innovation approaches with studies in international economics, sustainable development and inclusive growth. His research focuses on the contribution of innovation to sustainable development with inclusive criteria.

Practical: The brown-bag seminar is held in CIRCLE Seminar Room, it is open for everyone and there is no need to register, you can bring your own lunch. In case you don’t have the access card to our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell).
Claudio Fassio ( 

We look forward to seeing you at the seminar!

P.S. Look out for more events in the Circle calendar



CIRCLE Seminar with Christian Binz, EAWAG & CIRCLE on Legitimation dynamics in industrial path development: new-to-the-region versus new-to-the-world industries

The title of the seminar:Legitimation dynamics in industrial path development: new-to-the-region versus new-to-the-world industries
Date: 22th of May 2019 at 12:15 – 13.15
Place: Sölvegatan, 16, MNO-huset, CIRCLE, M213

Abstract: Recently, increasing academic and political attention has focused on the initiation and development of new industries in regions. While the extant literature has contributed substantial insights into the knowledge-related determinants of new industry emergence, a range of significant questions remain unanswered, particularly concerning the institutional contexts in which new industrial paths develop. Based on the trajectories of two industries — the video games industry in Hamburg, and the potable water reuse industry in California, this article investigates the efforts taken by multiple actors in legitimizing and thereby embedding new industrial paths in regional institutional structures. We elaborate how industry legitimation dynamics differ between industries that are new-to-the-region (video games,) and industries that are new-to-the-world (potable water reuse,). Our framework contributes to the literature on industrial path development and regional diversification by characterizing the system building and legitimation strategies that appear effective for these two analytically distinct industry formation trajectories.

About the speaker: Christian Binz is a tenure-track group leader in the cluster Sustainable Transitions and Business Innovations (CIRUS) at the Department of Environmental Social Sciences at Eawag, and an Associate Post-Doctoral Researcher at CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden. He received his PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Bern in 2012. Christian is a recipient of the Giorgio Ruffolo Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Sustainability Science (2015) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has worked as a post-doctoral Research Fellow at Lund University (Sweden), UC Berkeley (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Eawag.

His main research interests are centered on the potential for transformative innovation in the water and energy sectors. By combining recent insights from transition studies, economic geography and institutional sociology, he aims to explore how multi-scalar institutional arrangements hinder or support radical innovation in clean-tech industries and a broader sustainability transition in the water sector.

Practical: The seminar is held in CIRCLE Seminar Room, it is open for everyone and there is no need to register. In case you don’t have the access card to our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell).
Claudio Fassio ( 

Very Welcome to the seminar!

P.S. Look out for more events in the Circle calendar



New Senior Lecturer position at CIRCLE in innovation studies – experimentally organized economy

Dear network,
we are happy to announce yet another vacancy! This time for Senior Lecturer in  innovation studies with specialization in the experimentally organized economy here at CIRCLE, Lund University.

Subject description
Sustainable economic development and growth is, to a significant extent, a matter of experimentation in order to develop new sources of value creation, i.e. innovation. Innovative and entrepreneurial experiments continuously lead to new combinations and mutations of business ideas, technologies and organizational solutions in the experimentally organized economy. An improved understanding of the functioning principles of an experimentally organised economy can contribute to better decision-making at the level of economic decision-makers as well as better policies strengthening the regulatory and institutional infrastructure. “Entrepreneurial experimentation” increases technological and market experimentation, as well as policy experimentation within the economic system. Without experimentation any system – technological and/or regional – will stagnate.

Contact: Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand, professor, +46 (0)46 – 222 02 98

Start date: as soon as possible.
Deadline for application is June 2, 2019

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We are looking forward to have this new person onboard!