We design a conceptual framework for linking two approaches: the literature on absorptive capacity and the literature on spatial knowledge spillovers. Regions produce new knowledge, but only part of it is efficiently adopted in the economy; the share of efficiently adopted technology depends on territorial capital. Our data set is based on a panel of European regions over the period 1999-2005, combining data from EUROSTAT and the European Values Study (EVS); we test the hypothesis that insufficient levels of territorial capital hamper the capability of regions to grasp and fully exploit new knowledge. Results show that a lower regional absorptive capacity increases knowledge spillovers towards surrounding areas, hampering the regions’ capability to understand, decode and efficiently exploit new knowledge, both locally produced and originating from outside.
Absorptive capacity knowledge spillovers total factor productivity spatial econometrics