The Diffusion of the Digital Shift

Authors: Joakim Wernberg*, The Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Martin Andersson, Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH)
Topics: Economic Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: Digitalization, regional economics, industrial dynamics, regional impact
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Regent, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Digitalization describes the introduction of a new general purpose technology that permeates sectors and brings about a system-wide shift in the economy and society at large. It is well established that this is a in many respects nonlinear transition that brings about both the creation of both more efficient processes and new business models, as well a the destruction of old economic structures. It is less well known how this shift is expressed in relation to space and the regional economic dimension. In this paper we use a diffusion model to map how the supply and demand of digital skills, as measured by the education and employment of university graduates with computer science majors, is distributed across both sectorial and geographical space, and how it spreads over time. We employ detailed statistical data to compare local labor market regions. This provides a proxy for the diffusion of new (digital) technologies in regional economies, but also a measure of how an externally induced transition in the economy impacts different types of regions at different points in time, i.e. how an externally induced structural change diffuses.


(Abstract for the session "Economic Geography - Multi-scalar and multidimensional aspects of economic development")

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