Metropolitan Edison and cosmopolitan Pasteur? Agglomeration and interregional research network effects on European R&D productivity

Attila Varga, Dimitrios Pontikakis, George Chorafakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines empirically the relative influence of static and dynamic agglomeration effects on the one hand and research networking [measured by Framework Programme (FP) participation] on the other on regional R&D productivity in the European Union. We found that agglomeration is an important predictor of R&D productivity in the case of market-oriented (Edison-type) research while interregional scientific networking is an important determinant of R&D productivity in the case of science-driven (Pasteur-type) research. Importantly, the two determinants are never jointly significant. This finding indicates that in a knowledge production context, and contrary to what may happen in other areas of economic activity, agglomeration and scientific networking are neither substitutes nor complements but operate at distinct parts of the knowledge production process. Our findings uncover the principal components of regional knowledge production processes across European regions in a dynamic setting. They therefore allow us to explore counterfactual scenarios and characterize the effects of policy interventions. A simulation of the likely impacts of FP6 funds on regional R&D productivity demonstrates that the dynamic effect is greater in regions with high agglomeration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberlbs041
Pages (from-to)229-263
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2014



  • Agglomeration
  • EU Framework Programs
  • Patents
  • Research networks
  • Technology spillovers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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