PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (4): 782-795.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2023.04.013

• Theoretical Study • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The knowledge dynamics of regional economic development and its multi-locational mechanism

WANG Tengfei1,2()   

  1. 1. Business School, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, Zhejiang, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2022-10-12 Revised:2022-12-16 Online:2023-04-28 Published:2023-04-27
  • Supported by:
    The Cultivation Program of High-level Humanities and Social Sciences of Ningbo University(XPYQ22003);The Program of Future Scientists and Outstanding Scholars of East China Normal University(WLKXJ202009)


In the era when information, labor, capital, and commodities are extremely mobile, knowledge increasingly shows multi-locational interactions characterized by the coexistence of interaction between neighboring areas and interaction between distant places, which has an important impact on regional economic development. Based on a series of changes in the current human social and economic systems, combined with the inherent inadequacies of the traditional regional innovation research paradigm, this article introduced the territorial knowledge dynamics theory with knowledge combination as the core. According to the theory of territorial knowledge dynamics, knowledge combination is the key driving force of regional innovation, characterized by multi-scale networks. The combination of different types of knowledge is realized through interaction between neighboring areas or interaction between distant places in space. According to the spatial pattern of knowledge combination, territorial knowledge dynamics can be classified into multi-locational knowledge dynamics and networks of distant knowledge dynamics. This study built an analytical framework of multi-locational knowledge dynamics for regional economic development. By introducing trust and learning mechanisms, this framework analyzes the mechanism of influence of local contexts, such as formal/informal institutions and cognitive level, on knowledge interaction and combination. Based on the external knowledge linkages and knowledge network externality, this framework explores the path and mechanism of influence of multi-locational knowledge networks on the evolution of regional industrial comparative advantage and endogenous economic growth. Finally, the logic of regional governance in the era of the knowledge economy was summarized from four dimensions: regional governance, regional strategic guidance, policy tools, and knowledge impact. The study of multi-locational knowledge dynamics promotes the regional innovation school's research on knowledge dynamics in regional economic development. It is also helpful for scientifically formulating policies for regional collaborative innovation and high-quality economic development.

Key words: knowledge combination, local context, trust-learning mechanism, external knowledge linkages, network externality, multi-locational knowledge dynamics, regional economic development