As scientists and policymakers tend to interpret changes in the economy as a trend towards an increasingly knowledge-based economy, their recommendations and strategies for regional economic development frequently contain elements how to intensify the knowledge flows in the region concerned. Knowledge flows come into existence from intentional action, but also in an unintended way as externalities or knowledge spill-overs. This paper reviews the ways regional and urban economics has dealt with this concept of knowledge spill-overs. Knowledge spill-overs are defined within a conceptual framework that points out different uses of knowledge in economics. The concept's operationalisations in diverse empirical studies are systematised and discussed. After a critical review of the current state of research, policy strategies aiming to intensify knowledge spill-overs are classified. The paper concludes with an outlook on promising new approaches to research knowledge spill-overs and on the elaboration of more efficient policy strategies.
International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development – Inderscience Publishers
Published: Jan 1, 2010