Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 62: R&D Accessibility and Regional Export Diversity R&D Accessibility and Regional Export Diversity R&D Accessibility and Regional Export Diversity

Charlie Karlsson () and Sara Johansson ()
Additional contact information
Charlie Karlsson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Sara Johansson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper examines the influence of accessibility to R&D on the regional diversity in Swedish export. A theoretical model with fixed R&D cost predicts that spatial knowledge spillovers generates external economies of scale in R&D activities and these external effects increase the innovative capacity in regions that have high accessibility to R&D. The model implies that the effects of R&D on regional export performance are reflected by the size of the export base rather than by the export volumes. The empirical analysis focus on three different indicators of export diversity; the number of exported goods, the number of exporting firms and the number of export destinations. The hypothesis that regional accessibility to R&D facilities in the private business sector, on the one hand, and university research departments on the other hand, increases the export diversity in regions is tested in cross-regional regression models. Since knowledge cannot be regarded as a spatially trapped resource the empirical analysis includes two measures of R&D accessibility; intra-regional and inter-regional. The empirical results indicate that the three indicators of regional export diversity are positively affected by the intra-regional accessibility to company R&D in commodity groups that have a relatively high R&D-intensity in production. Inter-regional accessibility to company R&D has significant positive impacts on the number of export goods and the number of export destinations also in less R&D-intensive industries. In the case of university R&D, the empirical results are weaker, in particular in the case of intra-regional accessibility. Yet, the inter-regional accessibility to university R&D has a significant positive impact on the number of export goods and the number of export destinations in the majority of commodity groups

Keywords: Export diversity; knowledge; accessibility

JEL-codes: F12; R11; R12

28 pages, May 4, 2006

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