PROJECTS

THE SPECIFICS OF EVOLUTIONARY TRAJECTORIES OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN REGIONS: COMPREHENDING THE KEY DRIVERS AND PROCESSES ON THE CASE OF CZECHIA

Viktor Květoň | (2017-2019) | The Czech Science Foundation (GACR)

The characteristics of evolutionary trajectories of economies in post-communist countries (and key driving mechanisms) have not yet been sufficiently explained. These economies have had to face fundamental challenges and the associated consequences during reintegration into the global economy. Recent empirical evidence (Novotný, Blažek, Květoň 2016) underlines specific spatial organization and changes in regional economic structure in Czechia. For a deeper understanding and exploration of regional industrial development we apply concept of path development models (Isaksen, Trippl, 2014). The project is built around the following research questions: (1) What type of path evolution trajectories characterizes industrial development processes in Czech regions? (2) What are the critical exogenous/endogenous drivers for new path development in Czech economy? (3) What role in shaping the future development trajectories can play the newly built R&D centres? Proposed research will be based upon the analysis of a unique firm-level database, regional input-output tables and qualitative methods.

EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF SPATIAL DIFFERENTIATION OF SOCIOECONOMIC PHENOMENA AND THE ROLE OF REGIONS IN CZECHIA – SPATIAL AND MULTILEVEL APPROACH

Jiří Blažek | (2015-2019) | The Czech Science Foundation (GACR)

In this project, we are focusing on spatial differentiation of socioeconomic phenomena in Czechia. The key question is how spatial aspects of social differentiation have changed in period 2000-2014 on micro-regional (municipal) level and what the role of regions is. In analyses, quantitative and qualitative methods respecting critical realism philosophy will be combined. In the quantitative part of the project, we will use spatial analysis methods (for example analyses of spatial autocorrelation, geographically weighted regression) and multilevel modelling. The outcome of the quantitative part is also typology of municipalities and micro-regions and selection of localities suitable for subsequent qualitative analysis. In the qualitative part, we will study the identified patterns and relations in detail and we will try to uncover causalities. We will use a unique database on a municipal level - data on unemployment rate on a monthly basis, other socioeconomic and sociodemographic data on a yearly basis, but also anonymized individual data from censes in 2001 and 2011.

RESTRUCTURING AND GEOGRAPHIC SHIFTS IN THE EUROPEAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Petr Pavlínek | (2016-2018) | The Czech Science Foundation (GACR)

This research project aims to analyze the development of the European automotive industry since 1990 and changes in its spatial organization in order to evaluate its competitiveness and long-term sustainability in Europe. It will investigate changes in its spatial division of labor since 1990 and delimit its core, semi-periphery and periphery. A particular focus will be on the position of East-Central Europe and Czechia in the European automotive industry and whether and to what extent it has improved through upgrading. The project will analyze production, employment, trade and investment trends, including plant closures and relocations at the national level of EU28 countries. The analysis of the position of the Czech automotive industry will also draw on unique data collected during the 2009 survey of 274 Czech-based automotive firms and 100 interviews conducted in 2010 and 2011. Theoretically and conceptually, the proposed research will draw upon global production networks and global value chains perspectives.

SMART SPECIALISATION FOR REGIONAL INNOVATION

Jiří Blažek | (2013-2016) | Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

We still have only a very limited understanding of most aspects about our planet. Answering questions about this is essential for understanding the mechanistic role it plays on other scientific processes, and for developing tools to further explore this research avenue with more sensitive measurements and improved data collection.

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT EFFECTS OF GLOBAL PRODUCTION NETWORKS IN THE CZECH AND SLOVAK AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES

Petr Pavlínek | (2013-2015) | The Czech Science Foundation (GACR)

The basic objective of the proposed project is to analyze the effects of the automotive industry on regional development in Czechia and Slovakia using the global production networks (GPNs) and global value chains (GVCs) perspectives. The analysis of automotive supplier networks will combine quantitative and qualitative research methodology and it will concentrate on the comparative analysis of the attributes of foreign-owned firms, linkages between foreign-owned and domestic firms, and of the position of domestic firms in GPNs/GVCs. It will combine data that will be collected from 50 on-site automotive firm interviews in Slovakia, data from 100 already conducted interviews in Czechia in 2010 and 2011, and data collected during the survey of 274 Czech-based and 133 Slovak-based automotive firms conducted in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. The proposed research builds upon 20 years of geographic research experience of the principal investigator and his track record of successful publications of research outcomes in leading international geographic journals.

CLUSTER LIFE CYCLES – THE ROLE OF ACTORS, NETWORKS AND INSTITUTIONS IN EMERGING, GROWING, DECLINING AND RENEWING CLUSTERS

Jiří Blažek | (2011-2014) | The Czech Science Foundation (GACR)

Clusters are regarded as important elements in economic development (Porter 1998). However, the strong research focus on the way clusters function is contrasted with a disregard for their evolutionary development, i.e. how clusters actually become clusters, how and why they decline, and how they shift into new fields (Lorenzen 2005). Therefore, this interdisciplinary research project would focus on analysis of three main elements, which differ strongly between different stages of the life cycle and therefore affect the transition from one stage of the life cycle to another. The first is the influence of single actors on the cluster life cycle, i.e. individuals, firms and public organizations, and their role in generating novelty and variety. The second element is networks. Tight networks are for example often connected with the decline of clusters while emerging clusters are shaped by unstable networks (Ter Wal and Boschma 2009, Grabher 1993). The third element is the cluster’s institutional setting, i.e. its supportive environments, regional cultures and cognitive frames (Piore and Sabel 1989).

 

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