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Jan Fagerberg and Martin Srholec

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Jan Fagerberg and Martin Srholec

How should differences in regional economic performance be explained? This chapter examines the different approaches to this question, including their empirical underpinnings, which have developed in the scholarly literature, with particular emphasis on identifying issues that continue to be of central importance for scholars in the field today. It is noted, however, that as far as theories and perspectives are concerned, the research area under scrutiny here is a highly porous one. In fact, the theoretical perspectives guiding researchers in this area usually apply to other spatial levels as well. For this reason, a very sharp distinction between the bodies of knowledge on, for instance, national and regional economic performance may not be very fruitful. The chapter presents an overview of how theoretical and applied work of relevance for the analysis of regional economic performance has evolved to its present stance. This leads to the identification of two central factors for regional economic performance, that is, capability building and specialization. Issues concerned with the availability of relevant data for exploring the relationships between these factors and economic development are then considered. The analysis shows that regional economic performance and capability building does indeed go hand in hand, while the evidence regarding the impact of specialization is more mixed. The chapter then concludes by considering lessons and implications for policy and future research.

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Jan Fagerberg and Martin Srholec

This paper focuses in the role of capabilities in economic development. In recent years, the quality and availability of data on different aspects of development have improved, and this provides new opportunities for investigating the reasons behind the large differences in economic development.

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Jan Fagerberg, Martin Srholec and Martin Knell

Why do the some countries perform much better than other countries? This paper outlines a synthetic framework, based on Schumpeterian logic, for analyzing this question. Four different aspects of competitiveness are identified: technology, capacity, demand and price. The contribution of the paper is particularly to highlight the three first aspects, which often tend to be ignored due to measurement problems.

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Jan Fagerberg, Martin Srholec and Bart Verspagen

Innovation is often seen as carried out by highly educated labour in R & D intensive companes with strong ties to leading centers of excellence in the scientific world. Seen from this angle innovation is a typical "first world" activity. There is, however, another way to look at innovation that goes significantly beyond this high-tech picture.

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Jan Fagerberg, Maryann P. Feldman and Martin Srholec

This article analyzes factors shaping technological capabilities in USA and European countries, and shows the differences between the two continents in this respect are much smaller that commonly assumed.