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A concise history of the knowledge base literature: challenging questions for future research

Ron Boschma

No 1721, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography

Abstract: This chapter aims to sketch a short history of the differentiated knowledge base (DKB) literature that has been initiated and pioneered by Bjorn Asheim. In its formative years, the DKB approach described three knowledge bases and explored the nature of knowledge sourcing and its geographical extent within each knowledge base. We identify seven claims proposed by DKB scholars concerning the geography of knowledge bases. Lately, DKB 1.0 has been challenged on several grounds. In recent years, a second generation of DKB literature, dubbed as DKB 2.0, has emerged, becoming more tightly connected to the evolutionary approach in economic geography. DKB 2.0 takes a combinatorial approach to innovation and links it to evolutionary concepts like related variety and proximity. Its prime focus is on identifying combinations between knowledge bases and, to an increasing extent, combinations within knowledge bases, and assessing whether these combinations enhance innovative performance. As DKB 2.0 is still in an embryonic stage, we identify promising avenues for future research, inspired by evolutionary thinking.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-geo, nep-his, nep-ino and nep-knm
Date: 2017-09, Revised 2017-09
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