PhD defence by Niclas Lavesson on Rural-urban interdependencies: The role of cities in rural growth

Niclas Lavesson, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and the Department of HumaLavessonn geography, Lund University, will defend his thesis with the title Rural-urban interdependencies: The role of cities in rural growth

Date/Time: 8th of June 2017, 10:15 am
Place: Världen, Geocentrum I, Sölvegatan 10, Lund

Opponent: Olof Stjernström, Umeå universitet

Supervisors: Martin Andersson and Thomas Niedomysl

Abstract: A massive population growth in cities is currently being witnessed in most countries around the world. As urban populations grow, cities eventually expand geographically into what was considered countryside and nowadays distinguishing between what is city and what is countryside is getting increasingly difficult. In many Western countries, it is being observed that areas near cities seem to capitalize from urban proximity by experiencing strong growth in population and employment.Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 13.43.34.pngBy contrast, remotely located areas appear to be in fast decline, observed not least in the ongoing trend of rural depopulation. In the European context, and more specifically in Sweden, research is relatively scarce on these issues. The aim of this thesis is to examine rural–urban interdependencies and the role of cities in rural growth.

Over the last decades, having spatial linkages with cities appears to have increased in importance for rural areas. Much can be learned from studying how interdependencies with nearby cities influence rural growth. Increased knowledge on the topic may be useful, not least in formulating policies aiming at, for example, increasing rural employment and counteracting rural depopulation.

The findings in the thesis strongly suggest that interdependencies with nearby urban centers are not necessarily positive. In fact, it is shown that proximity to urban centers of any size is detrimental to local employment growth and entrepreneurship in rural Sweden. Rewards from urban proximity are only visible from interdependencies with the largest urban centers. This suggests that there is a threshold of urban (population) size that needs to be reached for positive agglomeration spillovers to outweigh adverse effects following from urban proximity, for example from urban competition for local jobs, consumers and rural resources in general. Importantly, though, there is a significant heterogeneity in relationships across space. Implicitly, this means that a change that would be positive in one place may be very negative in another.

A strong positive association is also observed between rural-to-urban commuting and rural employment growth. Therefore, it is concluded that increasing rural-to-urban commuting could be a way to achieve growth in the countryside. Also, stimulating urban employment growth could be a way for rural areas to maintain and perhaps even grow their local population. This follows from the observation that rural residents increasingly are engaging in rural-to-urban commuting and that the common pathway into this type of commuting is from rural residents changing to urban places of work. These are also individuals who are younger and better educated than their rural neighbours and contribute more than average rural workers to the local economy, by enhancing tax incomes or strengthening local purchasing power.

Welcome to Niclas’s PhD defence!

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CIRCLE Seminar with Prof. Marco Vivarelli on impact of Corporate R&D and Innovation on Employment

Prof. Marco Vivarelli will give a seminar based on two of his articles with title “A fotoweb-custom-size-162-170.jpgreappraisal of the impact of Corporate R&D and Innovation on Employment”.

Marco Vivarelli is Full Professor of Economics at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milano, where he is also Director of the Institute of Economic Policy. His current research interests include the relationship between innovation, employment and skills; the labour market and income distribution impacts of globalization; the entry and post-entry performance of newborn firms.

Date: 7th of June: 14.00-15.00

Place: Sölvegatan, 16, MNO-huset, CIRCLE, M213

Abstract (of one of the article to be discussed) : In this work, we test the employment impact of distinct types of innovative investments using a representative sample of Spanish manufacturing firms over the period 2002-2013. Our GMM-SYS estimates generate various results, which are partially in contrast with the extant literature. Indeed, estimations carried out on the entire sample do not provide statistically significant evidence of the expected labor-friendly nature of innovation. More in detail, neither R&D nor investment in innovative machineries and equipment (the so-called embodied technological change, ETC) turn out to have any significant employment effect. However, the job-creation impact of R&D expenditures becomes highly significant when the focus is limited to the high-tech firms. On the other hand – and interestingly – ETC exhibits its labor-saving nature when SMEs are singled out.

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 for our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell). 

/Claudio Fassio (claudio.fassio@circle.lu.se) and Polina Knutsson (polina.knutsson@circle.lu.se)

Welcome!

Workshop on new book on holistic innovation policy – recap

During two days full of intense debates 22 prominent scholars have questioned, praised and turned and twisted the coming book with title “Holistic Innovation Policy: Theoretical Foundations, Policy Problems and Instrument Choices” by  Susana Borrás (Copenhagen Business School) and Charles Edquist (CIRCLE).

Presenters and discussants were:

Ed Steinmueller & Manuel Godinho
Elvira Uyarra & Stan Metcalfe
Åsa Lindholm Dahlstrand & Jonas Gabrielsson
Barbara Jones & Ludger Deitmer
Lena Tsipouri & Jon-Mikel Zabala
Massimo Colombo & Rajneesh Narula
Nick Vonortas & Gabriella Dutrenit
Matthias Weber & Slavo Radosevic
Diana Hicks & Maureen McKelvey
Jan Fagerberg & Stefan Kuhlman

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We are looking forward to the results of this event in the next version of the book.

CIRCLE Seminar with Prof. Ed Steinmueller from SPRU, University of Sussex on Platforms and Standards: An Historical Perspective

Ed Steinmueller will have a seminar at CIRCLE on “Platf26086.jpgorms and Standards: An Historical Perspective”. Ed is Professor of Information and Communication Technology Policy  at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit, Business and Management), University of Sussex. His research interests are in the field of the industrial economics of information and communication technology industries, as well as science policy and the economics of basic research.

Date: Monday May 22nd at 14:00

(please note that it is on a Monday this time)

Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room, MNO-Huset, Sölvegatan 16

Summary: The rise in the use of standards parallels the origin of systems of mass production and the articulation of mass markets and distribution systems.  The apotheosis of these developments is occurring in the contemporary evolution of large technical systems and global value chains.  Although compatibility standards have assisted in the building of ever larger, interconnected and complex technological systems, they are also employed in efforts to devise decentralised alternative technologies and modes of organisation to these ‘megamachines’ that are more inclusive or sustainable.  Rather than being an incidental detail in technological history, since the 19th century, standards define many of the technological and market possibilities for the world in which we live.

This presentation will examine the co-evolution of standards and technological change with a focus on the contest between the centralising and the decentralising role of standards and the consequences of this contest.   The contest is evolving because, from an historical perspective, the technologies affected by standards have been subject to fundamental change and standards have, themselves, had an influence on technological change.  Three epochs in this history are identified with the second being the unusual and, in some ways, alternative pathway of Internet and modular electronic system standards which has not formed the basis for many of the newer processes of standards formation.  The new standards processes and outcomes resemble the first phase, with important differences that may merit increased attention to policy and intervention.

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 for our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell). Please bear in mind that this seminar is on Monday and not on Wednesday, like the other CIRCLE seminars.

/Claudio Fassio (claudio.fassio@circle.lu.se) and Palina Sauchanka (palina.sauchanka@circle.lu.se)

 

Welcome!

CIRCLE Seminar with Lennart Stenberg, senior adviser at VINNOVA, on National innovation policy vis-à-vis global firms

Lennart Stenberg is a Senior Advisor for International Co-operation and Analysis at VINNOVA. He is an expert in research and innovation policy and will give a seminar on “National innovation policy vis-à-vis global firms – a tentative research agenda

Date: 16th of May: 14.00-15.00 

Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room, MNO-Huset, Sölvegatan 16

Summary: What do we know about the importance and role of large firms in the Swedish innovation system? Considering that most of these firms, be they Swedish-based or foreign based, are parts of global corporate structures and global value chains, what does Sweden have to offer these firms. To what extent can national research and innovation policy influence their investments in new value creation activities in Sweden and their indirect contribution to value creation in SMEs? What kind of research is needed to answer these and similar questions?

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 for our building, please let us know (or simply ring us on the entrance doorbell)
/Claudio Fassio (claudio.fassio@circle.lu.se) and Palina Sauchanka (palina.sauchanka@circle.lu.se)

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Welcome!

Workshop on new book on holistic innovation policy is held at CIRCLE

Susana Borrás (Copenhagen Business School) and Charles Edquist (CIRCLE) will publish a book with Oxford University Press later this year. The preliminary title is “Holistic Innovation Policy: Theoretical Foundations, Policy Problems and Instrument Choices

On May 23-24, 2017 each draft chapter will be discussed by two invited colleagues in a workshop at CIRCLE, we are proud to have 22 high-ranked specialists here at once discussing 12 chapters. You can find the workshop program, which details the chapter titles and reveals the names of the discussants, here: Lund innovation policy workshop-revised program of May 7th 201

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Latest research presented at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in Boston 2017

Several Circle researchers, Johan Miörner, Magnus Nilsson and Joakim Wernberg have recently presented their latest research and Björn Asheim also held the Regional Studies Annual Lecture at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in Boston, USA. This conference features over 6,900 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips by leading scholars, experts, and researchers.

These were the topics:

Magnus presented:
Paper by Markus Grillitsch and Magnus Nilsson 
Knowledge externalities and firm heterogeneity: Effects on high and low growth firms”

The paper analyzes differences in growth trajectories between strong and weak firms in core versus peripheral regions. 

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Johan presented:
Paper by Johan Miörner and Michaela Trippl
Path transformation through digitization: Self-driving cars in West Sweden”

The paper investigates path development activities targeting a wide range of, also non-technological, dimensions and how they promote incremental as well as more radical forms of change.

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Joakim presented:
His solo paper – by Joakim Wernberg
“Intracity Scaling Analysis and Micro-agglomerations”

The paper is investigating how internal city structure affects city-wide scaling; are there intracity scaling effects?

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Björn Asheim held the Regional Studies Annual Lecture 2017
“Meeting the Challenge of Social and Regional Inequality: How Coordinated Market Economies Link Innovation and Welfare”

Abstract: People in the contemporary Western world are suffering from two interconnected problems: a low rate of economic growth and a distribution of this more limited growth that is regionally and socially unequal. These problems are interconnected as they are rooted in the same political and ideological morass of the neo-liberalist regime of deregulation and liberalisation of the 1980s. Historically, innovation has been the most important source for increased productivity and value creation, and, thus, for making societies wealthier. When combined with the welfare policies of European coordinated market economies, this wealth has been fairly evenly distributed regionally and socially. Agents generating this growth have traditionally been Schumpeter’s Mark I entrepreneurs and his Mark II big corporations, often in close cooperation with national governments, which has characterised the Nordic countries. Today entrepreneurs create disruptive innovations, which only make themselves richer but not their host societies, and the big corporations are more and more focused on tax evasion, share buyback and other short-term activities, instead of investing their profits in innovation to secure future competitiveness. As a consequence, the underlying rate of innovation has slowed down, with lower productivity and value creation as a result.

What can a proactive innovation policy do to solve these problems, and what kinds of organisational and institutional innovations are needed to implement such a policy? How can policy not only solve the growth problem but the distributional problem as well? I shall argue that the answer is to be found in the coordinated market economies, where policies that shape innovation and welfare are strongly interlinked. The lecture aims at presenting such an agenda, inspired and informed by the innovation and welfare policies of the Nordic countries in general, and Sweden specifically.

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