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:
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.
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.
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?
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.