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Technology shifts, structural change and long-term regional growth and decline

Research project in Economic Geography

Project's title: Technology shifts, structural change and long-term regional growth and decline

Project's duration: 2000-

Contact person: Karl-Johan Lundquist, Martin Henning, Mikhail Martynovich, Lars Olof Olander


Strongly inspired by the neo-Schumpeterian tradition in economics/economic history and the evolutionary turn in economic geography, this research project started already back in the early 2000. The overarching aim has been to develop conceptual frameworks, methods and advanced longitudinal databases for analyzing “systemic” long term effects of major technology shifts on regions and industries, and if possible sort these effects out from other influences also studied by economic geographers.

Based on years of empirical investigations of Swedish economic growth patterns, the theoretical framework of long waves has been consolidated in aggregate and regional reference growth cycles. By decomposing the growth cycle into its industrial and spatial dimensions, it has been showed that technology shifts have strong impact on economic growth and are geographical in character starting in certain regions and industries and gradually diffusing with specific time patterns to wider spectra of regions.

This macro-oriented perspective of evolutionary economic geography of the project has gradually expanded into micro oriented perspective, for instance on the role of labour markets dynamics and skill relatedness as important diffusion mechanism for regional renewal and structural change.     

 Ongoing research in the project focusing on topics as:

  • The relation between endogenous characteristics of regions, hierarchies and distances in regional systems and the systemic effects from national and international growth cycles
  • Technology shifts and relocation of labour
  • Worker flows as a mechanism of inter-regional knowledge diffusion
  • Formation of the labour force in new sectors. The geography and demography of recruitment of labour economic key sectors