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Growth, development, and innovation: A look backward and forward

  • Year: 2003
  • Author: Cheshire, Paul C; Malecki, Edward J
  • Journal Name: Papers in Regional Science
  • Journal Number: Vol.83, No.1
  • Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  • Published Location: Urbana, United Kingdom
  • Country: United Kingdom

This article reviews where we have come from and where we are going in research on regional growth and development. Our object of study is the region, an imprecise term that has been taken to mean areas as large as small countries or as small as urban regions, although how regions are defined does itself have implications for both theories and the empirics of regional growth. How growth occurs remains a poorly understood process. Clearly the basic ingredients of the neo-classical cookbook are important - growth in capital and labour stocks with technological change - but they are neither enough nor revealing enough. Why does the stock of capital grow at different rates? Why does the labour supply increase? What drives technical progress? What are the roots of spatial dependence? We are fairly certain that the answers to these questions embrace agglomeration economies but they also embrace much more. Innovation is associated with research and development and has an identifiable spatial pattern in relation to highly skilled labour and institutions such as universities. But innovation is not just the result of R&D but also entrepreneurship applied to investment. Labour supply responds to real wage differentials but also to environmental and other amenities. Labour is far more geographically mobile in the New World, however, than it is in the Old.

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