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Innovation and spatial inequality in Europe and USA

Lee, Neil and Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés (2013) Innovation and spatial inequality in Europe and USA. Journal of Economic Geography, 13 (1). pp. 1-22. ISSN 1468-2702

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jeg/lbs022


Innovation is a crucial driver of urban and regional economic success. Innovative cities and regions tend to grow faster and have higher average wages. Little research, however, has considered the potential negative consequences: as a small body of innovators gain relative to others, innovation may lead to inequality. The evidence on this point is fragmented, based on cross-sectional evidence on skill premia rather than overall levels of inequality. This article provides the first comparative evidence on the link between innovation and inequality in a continental perspective. Using micro data from population surveys for European regions and US cities, the article finds, after controlling for other potential factors, good evidence of a link between innovation and inequality in European regions, but only limited evidence of such a relationship in USA. Less-flexible labour markets and lower levels of migration seem to be at the root of the stronger association between innovation and income inequality in Europe than in USA.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author(s)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Departments > Geography and Environment
Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Collections > United States Collection
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 14:34
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2016 15:53
Projects: 269869
Funders: European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013), Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship

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