XLIV Reunión de Estudios Regionales

Special sessions

Human capital, creativity and social innovation in Spanish cities

Chairmans: Julia Salom Carrasco (Universitat de València) y Simon Sánchez del Moral (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Human capital and innovative capacity, and the formation of internal and external networks, are decisive competitive factors in the achievement of strategies aimed at the consolidation of sustainable and intelligent urban models. This special session is interested in geographic studies that approach the processes of attraction and mobilization of these factors and by new methodologies of analysis.

Industrial clusters, dynamism and business strategy

Chairmans: Xavier Molina-Morales (Universitat Jaume I de Castellò), Pedro García Villaverde (Universidad de Castilla La Mancha), M. Ángeles Montoro-Sánchez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) y José A. Belso-Martínez (Universidad Miguel Hernandez)

The interest in innovation systems in general, and clusters or industrial districts, particularly in, has grown ostensibly among many academic disciplines, taking into account that they are important drivers of growth and innovation. The initial advantages derived from co-localization have been refined with recent works that bet to deepen their structural heterogeneity, permeability to external influences or evolutionary trajectory. Although the basis on which these territorial agglomerations are sustained and remain over time, there exist new forms and evolutionary patterns that affect them.

Despite this is not a phenomenon exempt of discussion, the analysis of the micromechanisms that lie behind the emergence or functioning of these productive systems anchored to the territories continues to represent a renewed interest. In particular, the recognition of the internal heterogeneity of the clusters opens a wide variety of research opportunities at the level of networks, business strategies, knowledge exchange, the role of different actors, differences in terms of resilience, specificities from the sectorial perspective or particularities at the macroeconomic level.

Within this framework, this special session aims to be an opportunity to bring different debates and introduce new lines of research. Thus, these works with a theoretical or empirical nature (qualitative or quantitative) both at a company level and systemic are welcomed. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the aim of the studies, approaches from different thematic areas such as geography or sociology, are also very interesting, for instance:

  • Creativity in territorial agglomerations
  • Clusters and evolutionary trajectory: decline and resilience
  • The related and unrelated variety in the present and future reality of the clusters.
  • Strategic heterogeneity in the clusters.
  • Clusters, relationships inter-organizational networks and knowledge.
  • Clusters in developing and transition economies.
  • The formal and informal institutions in the trajectory of the industrial cluster
  • Clusters, economic policy and its evaluation.
  • The role of multinationals in industrial clusters.
  • New methods of analysis in clusters: The role of big data or crowdfunding in research.

ATTENTION: Social Sciences magazine has made a Call for Papers for a special issue on industrial districts and clusters coordinated by professors Manuel Expósito-Langa, José Vicente Tomás-Miquel and José Antonio Belso-Martínez. In the link http://www.mdpi.com/journal/socsci/special_issues/Regional_Clusters_Sailing_Economy you can find more information in relation to it. Given the dates, it is a good opportunity for those contributions that are made within the framework of the Regional Studies Meeting and are related to the issue of the number

Water management in the context of the circular economy

Chairman: Francesc Hernández Sancho.

This special session promotes the presentation of works addressed to the sustainability of water resources in a territorial area through a circular economy approach. It is about the adoption of a strategy in order to achieve the optimal water management that meets the needs required for the population and productive activities. Hence, it will be of great interest this communications based on the governance of water, new technological proposals, the potentiality of reclaimed water or the application of renewable energies in the water cycle.

Creative Industries: Location Patterns and Growth Generation

Chairman: Josep-Maria Arauzo Carod.

This special session will explore location patterns of Creative Industries and the role of these activities over urban and regional growth. The aim of the special session is to promote discussions and exchanges of ideas on recent developments. The session covers a wide range of topics as location and geographies of creative industries; effects of creative industries on the economy of cities, regions and countries; linkages between creative industries and innovation, human capital or creative class; policy experiences; etc.

Measuring spatial justice and territorial inequalities in Europe at local level (IMAJINE project)

Chairman: Fernando Rubiera Morollón y Ana Viñuela Jiménez.

During the last decade, as a consequence of the global economic crisis, a significant growth of socio-economic inequalities have been experienced in many countries of the European Union. From the spatial perspective, in addition to the inequalities among regions and countries, we are witnessing an increase in disparities in the local context. However, the number of studies on economic spatial differences and inequalities at the local scale is very limited, mainly due to the data restrictions. This special session propose to summarize different studies that, using new data-estimation approaches and new information resources and techniques, are able to measure and analyze of the spatial justice and evolution of territorial inequalities in the European Union but at a high level of spatial disaggregation. Some papers of the IMAJINE H2020 EU project will be presented together with other studies and analysis on the same topic.

Housing and macroeconomics: the regional effects

Chairman: Paloma Taltavull de La Paz.

This session calls for the presentation of papers that address macroeconomic issues and their involvement with the housing market in any of its aspects. There is some literature that has estimated the effects on the richness of the evolution of the residential market, as well as the relationships between the prices of the economy and those of the houses. The last research interests focus on the differential regional impact of the changes in aggregate variables (production, employment or the general price index) associated with the existing conditions in their housing markets. This session aims to bring together researches on these issues in Spain or any international experience that is developed in this field.

Renewable energies and sustainable development: efficiency, environment and economic revitalization of the territory

Coordinador: María Jesús Ruiz Fuensanta (Universidad de Castilla La Mancha)

The objective of this session is to analyse the role that renewable energies can play in order to increase the economic profitability of the business fabric of a territory, while preserving its environmental efficiency. Considering both elements is crucial to guarantee the sustainable development and the continuity of the economic growth, analysed from a territorial point of view. Likewise, these researches whose objective is the analysis of the economic activity consistent with the renewable energies production in order to revitalize rural environments at risk of depopulation, from the economy and employment point of view, can also be submitted for this session.

The geography of innovation and knowledge spillovers

Chairmans: Rosina Moreno Serrano (Universitat de Barcelona) i Ernest Miguélez Sánchez (Université de Bordeaux).

We are thinking in papers focused on innovation and the spatial diffusion of knowledge. Its aim is to bring together researchers in urban and regional economics who are working in topics where the broad concept of the geography of innovation plays a fundamental role. Particular attention will be paid to papers dealing with the mechanisms and actors of knowledge diffusion (knowledge spillovers, networks, technological collaboration, and knowledge relatedness).

Big Data in Regional Science

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

Recent technological advances, the high capacity to store information and the efforts of many governments to open large volumes of information are contributing to the production of an astonishingly large data collection. The analysis of these large volumes of data (Big data) is an emerging topic in Regional Science, which is causing a strong impact in a wide variety of fields: urban planning, economic geography or transport. Despite the tremendous potential of Big Data for Regional Science, its use and application in this context is plagued by 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 in Regional Science’ are invited to present and discuss their methodological and applied contributions.

Spatial processes at point level and spatial networks

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

In the field of Space Econometrics it is increasingly common to have georeferenced information at the point level. The analysis of these systems (spatial point process) allows us to examine urban phenomena in a way that has not been possible to date, analyzing the behavior individual to individual, their patterns of movement or their interactions. At the same time, these systems form spatial networks whose analysis can offer a new perspective in Regional Science since they interact in a ‘network space’ where the Euclidean distance is not always determinant of the relationships between individuals. One of the main challenges in the science of spatial network data is to account for the structure of the network in the data set.

In this special session, we invite researchers in Regional Science to present their methodological or applied contributions in the topic of spatial spatial processes and spatial networks.

Strategies against the problem of depopulation

Chairmans: Luisa Alamá Sabater (Universitat Jaume I), Vicente Budí Orduña (Universitat Jaume I), José-María García Álvarez-Coque (Universitat Politècnica de València)

The demographic context in which an important part of the Spanish and European territory is immersed is characterized by a low population density, a high rate of aging and a continuous loss of population. Faced with this problem we propose a session of academic analysis and debate of proposals and initiatives that contribute to stop the process of demographic bleeding that we face and that manifests itself in territories such as the Serrania Celtibérica or the ” South of Lapland”.

Regions in Europe: Past, present and future trends

Chairmans: Andrea Conte (European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre Sevilla), Javier Barbero Jiménez (European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre Sevilla), Jorge Díaz Lanchas (European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre Sevilla).

Effects of the structural regional funds and the cohesion policy. Trends in regional employment and regional job polarization. Regional long-term convergence and regional business cycles. Regional modelling and simulations. Regional spillovers and spatial interactions. Interregional flows and transport costs. The international dimension of the European regions.

Regions and internationalization: the local dimension of foreign markets

Chairmans: Juan José De Lucio, Raul Minguez, Francisco Requena, Asier Minondo

This session of applied economics will be devoted to the presentation of communications that analyse the territorial dimension of the foreign trade and other aspects of the internationalization of a region. Therefore, issues related to the trade of goods, services, foreign direct investment, migrations, as well as other aspects related to the international dimension of regions of different types such as the impact of free trade agreements, global cities or the regionalization of global value chains.

Apprenticeships, Work-based Learning and Regional Economic Development

Chairmans: Teresa Torres-Coronas (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), Angel Belzunegui-Eraso (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), Josep Moreno Gené (Universitat de Lleida)

The competitiveness, economic and social development of countries and economic regions is heavily dependent on their human capital quality. A lack of skills and competences is one of the factors contributing to the labour force “quality” gap and long-term unemployment. Evidence demonstrates that while people in the EU suffer the consequences of unemployment, employers struggle to find the skills they need. Part of the solution to this structural problem can be found in apprenticeships and work-based learning (WBL); two strategies that, for example, can improve youngsters’ employability and their social inclusion.

The aim of this track is to explore the implementation of the mentioned initiatives, which should be based on strong partnerships between relevant actors from education, business, government, unions and societal groups. These partnerships can positively influence the regional development when local institutions work together to create a share vision about the needs and priorities of a particular economic region. In this context, current research needs to pay attention to the dynamics of agents’ relationships and the factors contributing to success at a regional level. At the same time, a network analysis of work-based strategies must elaborate on the characteristics of relationships, stakeholders’ role and their implications. This analysis will provide an important framework for thinking of the processes and capabilities that are necessary for really putting work-based learning strategies into practice for business competitiveness and regional economic development, thus lowering the rates of unemployment.


This session seeks research (both theoretical and case studies –best practices) papers in the following areas:

  • Impact of WBL strategies on regional development
  • Public-private partnerships at a regional level.
  • Transitions between education, training and employment
  • Internships, work-based learning and business competitiveness
  • Work-based learning and employability
  • Internships and WBL in vocational educational training (VET)
  • Internships and WBL in higher education
  • Benefits and incentives for agents (i.e, learners, employers, society, …) to invest in internships
  • The effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of internships strategies/programs/actions.
  • Designing, implementing and effectively managing internships partnerships.
  • Key factors for collaborative strategies.
  • Funding and co-funding internships and WBL
  • Best practices in internships and WBL

Culture, Creativity and Innovation in the MED regions

Chairmans: Raül Abeledo Sanchis (Econcult – Universitat de València), Vicente Coll Serrano (MC2 – Universitat de València), Pau Rausell Köster (Econcult – Universitat de València), Marta Roig Casanova (Econcult – Universitat de València)

Our main interest focuses on the relationships between cultural and creative activities and the social, economic and political dynamics of communities and territories. Thus, in this special session we intend to present papers related to the impact generated by cultural and creative organizations in the social and economic innovation of the MED regions. This session covers a wide range of topics such as the economics of culture, cultural policies, the relationships between culture, creativity and development, creative territories, museums, etc.

Regional Resilience and the impact of Great Recession

Chairmans: Begoña Cueto, Matías Mayor, Patricia Suárez (Universidad de Oviedo)

The impact of the Great Recession in the Spanish economy has been huge, particularly in a European context. This sudden and substantial shock has had a differentiated impact across the Spanish regions. Since 2014 some economic growth and employment creation is taking place, but is still heterogeneous over space.

The interest of scientists and policy makers has moved to analyse the factors that have allowed some regions and cities to resist and/or to recover from the Great Recession. The notion of regional and local economic “resilience” has found currency among those interested in economic geography. The term “resilience” originated in environmental studies and describes the biological capacity to adapt and thrive under adverse environmental conditions. In economics, resilience has been defined as the return to a status of equilibrium.

The aim of this special session is to collect applied economic studies using advanced techniques and extensive databases to identify robustly and consistently the resilience factors of the Spanish regions.

This session seeks research papers focus on the two main dimensions of resilience: mitigation of shocks (migration, wages and unemployment) and adaptation to shocks (human capital and educational mistmaches, entrepreneurship, smart regional strategies).