XLVI Reunión de Estudios Regionales. Full cities, empty territories

Special sessions

S01 – Transformation of the economic model from the territory and mobility 

Coordinators: Paloma Taltavull  (UA) y María Feo (UV)

Promoter: Cátedra de Transformación del Modelo Económico Valenciano (UA)

The modern economies are increasingly dependent on resources and strongly open markets, both in goods and services through exports. Most of the productive, industrial and service fabric deployed throughout their geography are firmly anchored to the territory, delimiting an interaction between industrial clusters and urban development. Export and tourism sectors share space and interrelate, mutually benefiting from the development of communication channels and contributing to economic growth. Little is known about the interaction between both groups of activities and their effect creating scale economies in the territory, allowing us to understand the mixed models and their contribution to the growth of both antagonistic areas of analysis. There are elements that, evaluated independently, are determinants of the competitiveness of industries, such as connectivity or efficient transport and communication systems, but also affect the expansion and proper functioning of urban ar!

eas. This session aims to showcase research on the evolution of connectivity and mobility between industrial production centres and their relationship with the growth of the urban area. Therefore, it will address questions that assess the patterns of mobility of goods and population and how they may have changed recently towards a new model. The pandemic shock effects on economic activity, both in production, in the supply chain, and the mobility of people, are one of the objectives to be addressed in this session.


S02 – Big Data and Machine Learning Algorithms in Regional Science 

Coordinator: Fernando A. López, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena.

Recent technological advances, the high capacity to store information, and the effort of many governments to open large volumes of information are contributing to the production of an astonishingly large collection of data. The analysis of these large volumes of data (Big data) is an emerging topic in Regional Sciences, causing a strong impact in a great variety of fields: urban planning, economic geography or transportation. This information now allows us to examine urban and regional phenomena in ways that were not possible before.

Despite the tremendous potential of Big data for Regional Science, its use and application in this context is fraught with problems and challenges, but everything points to its great relevance in the near future. In this special session, researchers interested in the topic of ‘Big Data and Machine Learning Algorithms in Regional Science’ are invited to present and discuss their methodological and applied contributions.

S03 – Education and development in space and time: new perspectives

Coordinator: Pau Insa-Sánchez (Universitat de València)

The importance of education for societies well-being is an indisputable fact. From the field of economics, endogenous growth models were the first to demonstrate the importance of human capital in economic growth processes, either through its accumulation or through the improvement in the productivity of capital (Romer, 1986; Lucas, 1988). However, many of the vectors of a country’s economic growth stand out for their pronounced regional character. In this regard, it is convenient to insert the question of human capital within the body of literature that deals with the characteristics of economic growth and its inequalities from a historical and territorial perspective. As Martí-Henneberg and Tirado (2018) point out, knowledge about the sources of economic growth can be substantially improved if we consider “the historical analysis of the reasons for the relative success or failure of different regions in different national and/or supranational contexts”. This session aims to serve as a meeting point for researchers whose object of study is education in historical and territorial perspective, regardless of the specific context, so as to generate synergies that result in a deepening of our knowledge of the educational phenomenon from these new approaches.

S04 – Territorial inequalities and spatial (in)justice in Europe

Coordinator: Ana Viñuela

How to address territorial inequalities in order to allocate resources following the principles of social and spatial justice?

In order to do so, it is necessary to (topics) :

  1. measure and understand spatial (in)justice and territorial inequalities at national, regional or local level.
  2. try to quantify the impact of the economic crisis, the austerity policies or the Covid-19 on territorial inequalities, especially in relation to the different models of territorial governance, sustainable economic development and public service delivery
  3. understand the perceptions of spatial (in)justice vs quantifiable territorial inequalities
  4. frame and justify territorial autonomy movements and their levels of support in relation to the real or perceived spatial (in)justice.
  5. evaluate the efficacy and appropriateness of current territorial policies and instruments for addressing the challenges of territorial inequalities and spatial justice.

S05 – Poverty risk, SMEs, and territory

Coordinadores: Blanca de-Miguel-Molina, María de-Miguel-Molina, Daniel Catalá-Pérez

Promotor: Proyecto ADSIDEO-Cooperación 2020 UPV “Needs analysis for the design and implementation of a crowdfunding solution to support informal enterprises and micro-SMEs in the central area of Bogotá”

International organisations, such as the International Labour Organisation and the World Bank, have been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 in different countries since the beginning of the pandemic. Among their conclusions, they have drawn the impact on specific population groups, associated with the destruction of formal employment, and the increase in informal employment, with the risk of an increase in extreme poverty. On the other hand, the capability of SMEs to obtain funding through formal resources has diminished due to uncertainty about the recovery capacity of the economy. This situation could spread the demand for informal loans, which entails higher interest rates, with the associated difficulties of reimbursement, and the growth of poverty risk for micro and small entrepreneurs. In this session, we will analyse the problems of informality and financial inclusion at the territorial level, in order to understand the differences within the country (Colombia) and between countries. We will also analyse the solutions that the territories have been adopting to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals related to financial inclusion.


S06 – Measuring regional changes: the spatial shift-share

Coordinadores: Miguel A. Márquez and Vicente Royuela

Changes Shift-Share analysis has been an effective tool for identifying the sources of socio-economic changes. The relevance of these analyses is clear, since detecting the types of changes that guide regional socio-economic processes can provide plausible hypotheses when making socio-economic policy recommendations to improve the regional performances. Today we realize that the a-spatial decomposition of regional change is important but that it is not sufficient to describe the whole dimension of socio-economic changes. Indeed, the spatial dimension of the regional socio-economic changes must be taken into account. The detection of the influences of space on the regional effects is, then, crucial, as they can inform about the types of regional policies needed to foster regional development. To fill this gap, numerous works have recently appeared that present contributions on the so-called spatial shift-share analysis.

As such, the overall aim of this special session is to bring together evidence and perspectives from different lines of study that build upon and support the foundations for the development of Spatial Shift Share Analysis. The proposed special issue will help corral together many of these positions within one single topic, helping to focus on the essence of the concept and its underpinnings, creating common standards for further research as well as giving greater credibility and exposure to Spatial Shift Share Analysis.

S07 – Industry 4.0 and sustainability in regions, clusters & industrial districts

Coordinator: Professor Dr. José Hervas-Oliver


SPONSOR: AICO 2020/123 and AEI/FEDER EU RTI2018-095739-B-100

Key words: Industry 4.0; digitization of SMEs; sustainability; regions; clusters; industrial districts

Generally, Industry 4.0 encompasses the digitization of manufacturing, constituting the manufacturing-dedicated digitization of business and industries. Industry 4.0 is also known as the Industrial Internet of Things and refers to a new paradigm of digital-based manufacturing and industrial inter-firm connected value (e.g., Kagermann et al., 2013). The concept includes different digital enabling technologies, such as the Internet of Things, Additive Manufacturing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and Blockchain, among others. Industry 4.0 in clusters and regions is nascent. How does Industry 4.0 shape industrial clusters and districts? What are the fundamental policy initiatives developed to fit Industry 4.0 to clusters, regional development and firm competitiveness?

In addition, sustainability constitute a critical topic in regions, clusters, districts and innovation systems. Sustainability (e.g. circular economy, SDG, eco-design, environmental impacts, etc.) are of utmost importance for shaping regions and their innovation. Thus, a cross-disciplinary approach (from business, clusters, regions, policymakers, etc.)  is required to fully understand the complexity of the challenge. We believe that scholars from different perspectives meeting at the regional space stimulate discussion for cross-fertilizing.

This Special Issue attempts to provide a cross-fertilization of different literatures and perspectives, integrating firm innovation, competitiveness and clusters/regional literature.

The papers presented can be considered for publication in a SPECIAL ISSUE in the Journal of Regional Research (Investigaciones Regionales, in Spanish), listed in Clarivate (Emerging Sourcing Citation Index) and SCOPUS (Q2).

Potential topics and research questions for the special issue may include, but are not limited to:

  • How does Industry 4.0 shape industrial clusters’ and regions’ competitiveness?
  • Industry 4.0 in cluster firms: individual and collective strategies
  • How does Industry 4.0 promote collective actions for cluster firms transition into digitization?
  • How are policymakers and policy initiatives responding to this challenge? What are the innovation policies promoting Industry 4.0 and digitization in general?
  • What are potential barriers constraining clusters adaptation to Industry 4.0?
  • How does Industry 4.0 shape collaboration for innovation in clusters and regions?
  • Place-based sustainable innovation
  • Sustainability in space and policymaking
  • Green and social innovation in regions
  • Industry 4.0 and sustainability effects
  • SDG in systems and regions

Papers presented in this Special Session will be offered to become candidates for a Special Issue in Journal of Regional Research. The Journal of Regional Research – Investigaciones Regionales is the flagship journal of the Spanish Regional Science Association (https://investigacionesregionales.org/en/).

While being specialized in regional issues, this journal is multidisciplinary and strongly devoted to European and Latin American topics. It is an academic journal, where all papers are subject to a double and blind review process. The journal is full Open Access, free for authors and readers. It is indexed in Clarivate’s Analytics Emerging Sources Citation Index and in Scopus.

S08 – Input-output models in regional analysis. Theory and applications

Coordinator: Carmen Ramos

The input-output analysis is a methodology usually applied in economic studies due to its potentiality at a theoretical level, for the construction and development of new models, as applied, allowing the resolution of practical problems.

The expansion of this methodology is undeniable, allowing increasingly complex conceptualizations, among which are the construction of social accounting matrices or computable general equilibrium models. Furthermore, the consideration of multiple input-output tables that relate territories makes it possible to create multiregional models and, therefore, the study of spaces as non-isolated entities.

On the other hand, and from an applied perspective, we can refer to the extension of the input-output methodology to the study of problems related to energy, the environment or the impacts of natural disasters.

This session aims to be a forum for discussion and reflection on the latest research (theoretical or applied) in input-output analysis, as well as being the seed of new research in this field.