Regional evolution and waves of growth: a knowledge-based perspective

Robert Huggins, Hiro Izushi, Daniel Prokop, Piers Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


The evolution of a regional economy and its competitiveness capacity may involve multiple independent trajectories, through which different sets of resources and capabilities evolve together. However, there is a dearth of evidence concerning how these trends are occurring across the globe. This paper seeks to present evidence in relation to the recent development of the globe’s most productive regions from the viewpoint of their growth trajectories, and the particular form of growth they are experiencing. The aim is to uncover the underlying structure of the changes in knowledge-based resources, capabilities and outputs across regions, and offer an analysis of
these regions according to an uncovered set of key trends. The analysis identifies three key trends by which the economic evolution and growth patterns of these regions are differentiated—namely the Fifth Wave Growth, the Third & Fourth Wave Growth, and Government-led Third Wave Growth. Overall, spectacular knowledge-based growth of leading Chinese regions is evident, highlighting a continued shift of knowledge-based resources to Asia. In addition, a superstructure is observed at the global scale, consisting of two separate continuums that explicitly distinguish Chinese regions from the rest in terms of regional growth trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Knowledge Cities World Summit, KCWS 2013
EditorsTan Yiğitcanlar, Melih Bulu
Number of pages17
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013
Event6th Knowledge Cities World Summit - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 9 Sept 201312 Sept 2013


Other6th Knowledge Cities World Summit
Abbreviated titleKCWS13

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Authors, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
No reproduction, copy or transmission may be made without written permission from the individual authors.


  • competitiveness
  • knowledge-based view
  • regional economic development
  • innovation


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