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Firms and people in place : driving forces for regional growth

by Li, Wenjuan

Abstract (Summary)
The aim of the thesis is to quantitatively study the driving forces and mechanisms for regional growth from an endogenous and exogenous perspective and reveal the most important factors contributing to regional growth, by focusing on three aspects: local labour market, the supply side and the demand side of the labour market. The thesis is designed to use Swedish micro register data to develop spatial models with higher spatial resolution. It was found that endogenous factors are important and probably explain about at least one third of total regional economic growth. Among the endogenous factors, localised demographic composition, labour force and labour market, firms, and business environment have the strongest influence on regional economic growth. The findings from the Swedish context were briefly compared to China’s economic growth in the last fifty years.The thesis consists of three related papers. The first paper studied the endogenous and exogenous factors in 108 Swedish LA regions during the 1990s. By using the SNI92 code, individual longitudinal data and an improved shift-share analysis method, it was found that the endogenous factor is important for regional economic growth because it is able to accelerate, decelerate or reverse the impact from exogenous factors during the period studied.The second paper studied regional growth from the supply side of the labour market by focusing on population redistribution and place attractiveness. A ‘floating grid’ approach was developed to understand the factors shaping place attractiveness. The approach disregards administration zones by focusing on a small spatial unit—vicinity which is one kilometre square. Each unit has a unique set of surrounding zones that are local area and hinterland. By constructing spatial models, the total explained variance in place attractiveness was decomposed into partial explanatory effects that are assigned for physical attraction, demographic, service and labour market factors over the spatial scales. The finding is that the spatial scale of vicinity and demographic factors contribute most to place attractiveness.The third paper studied regional growth from the demand side of the labour market by focusing on workplace and its economic performance. The ‘floating grid’ approach was once more applied while the basic analysis unit is a constructed workplace that holds working-square, local area and hinterland as surrounding zones. The economic performance of the workplace was attributed to external demand, local demand, business environment and labour force factors over different spatial scales. A method was developed to quantitatively identify intervals of partial explanatory effects that are components of the total explained variance. It was found that working-square and labour force factors contribute most to workplace economic performance.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; Human geography, economic geography; regional growth; endogenous factors; place attractiveness; population redistribution; vicinity; workplace; local area; hinterland; spatial model; Sweden

ISBN:978-91-975696-6-8

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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