The role of e-skills in technological diversification in European regions

Fulvio Castellacci, Davide Consoli, Artur Santoalha
Regional Studies

This paper argues that e-skills – capabilities associated with the use and development of digital technologies – enhance regions’ ability to draw on existing know-how and create new industrial paths. The empirical analysis focuses on the relationship between e-skills and technological diversification for a panel of European regions in the period 2000–12. It constructs novel indices of regional e-skill endowment distinguishing between basic users, professional users and expert developers of information and communication technologies. The econometric results show that e-skills foster technological diversification dynamics in European regions, and that this effect is particularly strong for less-developed regions, and for low levels of relatedness.