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 66: Regional Knowledge Accessibility and Regional Economic Growth

Carlie Karlsson (), Urban Gråsjö and Martin Andersson ()
Additional contact information
Carlie Karlsson: Department of Economics, Jönlöping International Business School, Jönköping University, Postal: Jönköping University, P.O Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping
Urban Gråsjö: Department of Economics, Jönlöping International Business School, Jönköping University, Postal: Jönköping University, P.O Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping
Martin Andersson: Department of Economics, Jönlöping International Business School, Jönköping University, Postal: Jönköping University, P.O Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping, Sweden

Abstract: Knowledge is maintained as a core variable for growth in a large set of contemporary theories. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between knowledge accessibility and regional growth. The knowledge resource used in our model R&D conducted at universities and in companies. A precise definition of accessibility was introduced and calculations were based on actual travel time distances. Using data at the municipality level in Sweden, the hypothesis that knowledge accessibility has a positive effect on growth cannot be rejected. The knowledge accessibility in a given period has a statistically significant effect on the growth in value-added per employee in subsequent periods. The total accessibility of a municipality was divided into three types, (i) intra-municipal accessibility, (ii) intra-regional accessibility and (iii) extra-regional accessibility. The paper has shown that this division gives a clear indication of that there is spatial dependence in the sense that the knowledge resources in a given municipality tend to have a positive effect on the growth of another municipality, conditional on that the municipalities belongs to the same functional region. Thus, the results of the analysis indicate that knowledge flows transcend municipal borders, but that they tend to be bounded within functional regions. The findings in the paper provide support for the theories that emphasize the role of knowledge for growth. However, the paper demonstrates that spatial proximity to knowledge resources is important to materialize the positive effect of such resources. Accessibility to knowledge in space is thus imperativ

Keywords: knowledge; R&D; economic growth; accessibility; spatial; region; spillovers

JEL-codes: O30; O40; O52; R11

26 pages, May 31, 2006

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