Mapping ICT in EU Regions: Location, Regional Attractiveness and Development
Starting date: February 2007
Duration: 11 months
Objectives: To map the location of ICT industries in EU regions and analyse these regions' attractiveness to multinationals choosing locations. To analyse the impact of ICT investment on regional convergence.
The project addressed three questions:
- It analysed the location of ICT-producing industries in European regions in order to map existing EU clusters and to analyse recent changes in these industries, in particular in relation to the EU 2004 enlargement. Specific attention was devoted to the nature of ICT sectors in terms of human capital intensity, skill requirements and knowledge content.
- It then looked at regional attractiveness for the location of ICT. The location patterns and determinants of ICT mutinationals across EU regions is analysed for the period 1995-2004. Using estimates derived from a discrete choice econometric model, the project aimed to derive a measure of the degree of the attractiveness of EU regions. The impact of ICT cannot be limited to the study of ICT-production sectors only. What also matters from an economic viewpoint is the impact of ICT diffusion on economic growth and productivity differentials, the latter being at the heart of global competitiveness.
- Finally, it considered the impact of ICT diffusion on growth and productivity at a regional level. This type of study has only been undertaken in a limited number of countries and, to date, has never been performed at the regional level. A case study of the Spanish autonomous regions has been made.
The advent of information and communication technologies (ICT) has engendered intense public discussion over the past few years in both policy and academic circles. These discussions have focused on two main issues. First, the difference in the contribution of ICT to economic growth between the US and the EU is often mentioned as one of the main causes of diverging growth performance between these two areas since the mid 1990s. The second issue concerns the key role played by ICT-producing sectors in promoting technological change and innovative capability. Here again, the EU appears, in general, to lag behind the US, and is also increasingly facing competition from other parts of the world, most noticeably from a growing number of Asian countries such as Japan, China and Korea. Both ICT diffusion and ICT production are, therefore, believed to play a key role in the future competitiveness of the EU economy. From a policy perspective, the evolution mentioned above raises important prospective issues of direct relevance for the EU. In particular, there is an increasing awareness of the need to adopt not only country-level inititatives but also regional policies, given that the nature of ongoing technological change and innovation dynamics have a strong local/regional component.
Universitat de Valencia and Instituto Valenciano de Análisis Económico (contacts: Matilde Mas and Javier Quesada)
- June 2006: Workshop on "ICT and Regional Development: the Spanish Experience" organised in collaboration with the Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain
Project Leaders: Salvador Barrios, Elena Navajas