The role of large high-technology firms in fashioning the spatial extent of the labour markets that serve them, is examined in this paper. It is argued that the demand for highly skilled labour in these firms results in their active role in labour market extension through a strategy of employee transport. This makes for employment mobility without a commensurate impact on residential mobility. It can also result in the 'inclusion' or 'exclusion' of certain types of labour. In this context, the 'free-rider' phenomenon associated with worker transport is identified and described. On the basis of an empirical study of some of the largest high-technology firms in metropolitan areas in Israel, these processes are illustrated. The labour markets serving these firms are delimited and characterised for employees of different skill levels. In addition, the determinants of the probability of the firm utilising spatially extensive labour markets is examined. The role of firm size in explaining this behaviour is stressed.
This paper examines the role of science parks as ‘seedbeds’ of innovation. Making the distinction between the spatial and the behavioural conceptions of the seedbed metaphor, the paper surveys the evidence related to the limited interaction effects between science park firms on the one hand and their neighbouring park firms, local universities and off-park firms on the other. This suggests that science parks might be functioning as ‘enclaves’ of innovation rather than seedbeds.
This hypothesis is empirically tested on the basis of a survey of over 160 high-technology firms in Israel located both on and off-park. Specifically, the following questions are addressed: (1) are seedbed effects important inputs to a firm's innovation level? and (2) to what extent are these effects contingent on the physical proximity and clustering afforded by science park location? The results indicate that, first, seedbed effects, as indicated by level of interaction with a local university and the entrepreneur's educational background, are not necessarily related to the firm's innovative level; second, science park location is shown to have only a weak and indirect relationship with innovation level. It is proposed that the role of the science park is thus innovation-entrenching rather than innovation-inducing. The attraction of science park location could therefore be due to perceived status and prestige conferred rather than benefits in terms of technology transfer and information flow.
This paper suggests that the constraints to small business development are likely to vary across the firm's life cycle. In addition, small businesses operating in peripheral areas are likely to face growth constraints arising from their location. On the basis of survey evidence from 100 small (owner-managed) firms operating in both peripheral and central locations in Israel, the probability of encountering a constraint (capital, marketing or bureaucratic) is then estimated. This probability is estimated for two points in the firms' development trajectory: the start-up stage and the stage of sustained operation. The results suggest that at the start-up stage the personal attributes of the entrepreneur serve to mitigate the odds of encountering a constraint while firm size increases the chances. At the operating stage, the personal characteristics of the owner and the form of economic activity are found to be influential. The conclusions point to the high opportunity costs associated with small firms in peripheral areas and to the role of firm size in mitigating the effects of finance constraints over the life cycle. The broad policy implications of these findings are outlined.
This paper presents an empirical assessment of the employment effects of two assistance schemes aimed at improving the accessibility of small businesses to capital. The first scheme is a revolving loan fund operating in two small towns. The second is a capital grant scheme aimed at promoting industrial activity in rural areas. Empirical data relating to the period 1986–89 is analysed for both schemes.
The employment effectiveness of the loan fund is analysed via the estimation of cost-per-job indices and the estimation of the ‘deadweight’ effect, i.e., employment that would have been created even in the absence of the financing scheme. For the grant scheme, the methodology implemented involves the use of regression techniques in order to isolate the effect of the financial assistance on employment generation. The results point to the cost-effectiveness of this form of assistance. From a public policy point of view, the need for targeting these type of schemes (both spatially and sectorally), is stressed.
This paper examines the economic development prospects for urban areas arising from localised clusters of high technology activity. Economic development opportunities are expected to be expressed in the development of local linkage patterns: employment linkages, production and service linkages and linkages to local universities. On the basis of survey evidence of high technology firms from two urban areas in Israel, linkage patterns are found to be weakly developed locally but extensively developed nationally and internationally. This is explained as a result of the international character of Israeli high technology activity resulting in a limited effect on the development of the local urban economy. Policy implications for urban economic development point to the need for the formulation of a public policy executed and administered at the local level rather than the present system of central government targeting of urban economic development at select locations.
The role of the local entrepreneur in the development of rural industrialization is often overlooked. Based on an empirical survey of entrepreneurs in both urban and rural areas in Israel, this paper shows that the rural setting scores less favorably than the urban for nearly all those locational attributes that would attract industrial development. Consequently, the chances of attracting external initiatives to rural areas would seem slim. Instead, it is argued that a strategy for rural industrial development needs to be based on the mobilization of indigenous entrepreneurial potential for which the rural setting provides a subjective relative advantage.
המאמר בודק את דפוסי הקשרים המרחביים שיש למפעלים תעשייתיים בארץ. קשרים אלה באים לידי ביטוי בקשר שיש למפעל עם גורמי ייצור ועם השוק. לדפוסי הקשרים האלה יש השלכות לגבי הפיתוח התעשייתי האזורי, במיוחד באזורים פריפריאליים. הבדיקה נעשתה על בסיס מדגם של 200 מפעלים מהסקטור העירוני (ערים מרכזיות וערי פיתוח) והכפרי. ההשערה המרכזית היא שלמפעלים בסקטורים שונים קיימים דפוסי קשרים שונים. הגורמים המשפיעים על דפוסי קשרים אלה נגזרים הן מאופי הפעילות התעשייתית של המפעל והן מאופי הסביבה שבו הוא פועל. הממצאים מצביעים על כך שקיימים הבדלים ברורים בין הסביבות שבהן פועלים המפעלים מהסקטורים המרחביים. לעומת זאת, לאופי הפעילות התעשייתית, כגון רמת התחרותיות והתחכום של התוצר, ישנה השפעה רבה יותר על הנטייה לייצור קשרים מרחביים מקומיים. ההשלכות של ממצאים אלה לגבי הפיתוח התעשייתי באזורים פריפריאליים ומשמעותם לגבי המדיניות התעשייתית-מרחבית הקיימת, נדונים במאמר.
This paper contends that most definitions of what comprises a “high technology” industry are based on only one defining characteristic. It is argued that an adequate definition needs to be based on a multi-dimensional view of technology and a methodological approach is suggested for classifying industrial sectors into “technological profiles” on the basis of the various aspects of technology that they embody. Based on this methodology, an empirical study based on sub-branches of Israeli industry (at the 3 digit SIC level) is presented. Using cluster analysis and analysis of variance it is shown that the technological profiles have similar industrial, and not just technological, characteristics. The policy implications of these findings point to the need for a definition of “high technology” that caters to the policy needs and objectives for which it is being defined.
This paper outlines the prospects for the development of sophisticated industry in peripheral and semi-peripheral areas. The debate on this issue usually presents a rigid and bifurcated image of large capital-intensive plants in the periphery and the seemingly unyielding concentration of R&D in central locations. A major claim here is that this image can be softened-up if a more integrative definition of the term ‘technology’ is taken. A methodological approach for assessing the level of technology of the industrial branch is therefore introduced. A multi-dimensional approach is adopted that classifies industries into ‘technological profiles’ based on the different combinations of aspects of technology that they embody. This methodology is applied empirically to a data-set based on sub-branches of Israeli industry at the SIC three-digit level and the main industrial characteristics of the technological profiles are analysed. Having established the industrial consistency of the technological profiles, their spatial behaviour is addressed with a view to identifying those profiles with a tendency to disperse to the national periphery and those with a tendency to concentrate in central areas. Evidence from Israel shows that two types of profile can exist in peripheral areas: operations that use sophisticated production processes and under certain conditions and, at particular scales of activity, small-scale R&D operations not requiring large capital investment. Finally, the industrial characteristics needed to sustain the above process are outlined. In the case of Israel it is shown that those characteristics relating to the inputs (especially quality of labour), rather than those relating to the outputs or spatial linkages of the production process, are likely to act as the main constraints to the development of sophisticated industry in peripheral areas.
A causal model is presented that predicts the relationship between the organizational structure and location of the high technology firm on the one hand and its R&D employment intensity on the other. The organizational structure of the firm is treated in two ways. The intra-organizational (internal) structure of the firm is analysed and found to be significantly and negatively related to the level of R&D employment in the firm. This is contrary to the hypothesisied direction of relationship. Variables representing the inter-organizational environment of the firm however are found to be associated with R&D employment intensity in the manner expected. The results further show that R&D employment intensity is positively associated with metropolitan location unmediated by the effects of firm size. This suggests that small high technology firms due to their “liability of newness” and large firms due to their complex inter-organizational environments are dependent on a metropolitan location.
המאמר הנוכחי מניח כי רוב ההגדרות של המושג תעשייה בעלת "טכנולוגיה גבוהה" מבוססות על מאפיין מגדיר אחד בלבד. אנו טוענים כי הגדרה נאותה חייבת להתבסס על תפיסה רב-ממדית של מושג הטכנולוגיה, ומציגים גישה מתודולוגית לסיווג ענפי תעשייה "לטיפוסים טכנולוגיים" על סמך ההיבטים השונים של הטכנולוגיה שהם מייצגים. בהסתמך על מתודולוגיה זו, אנו מגישים בדיקה אמפירית מבוסס על ענפי-משנה של התעשייה הישראלית (ברמת שלוש ספרות בסווג האחיד של ענפי התעשייה). השימוש בניתוח אשכולות ובניתוח שונות מאפשר לנו להראות כי לפרופילים הטכנולוגיים שהוגדרו יש מאפיינים תעשייתיים, משותפים.