– Big changes have happened in the past 20 years. The smaller regions are really struggling to attain the diversity which is present in big and medium-sized regions, says Börje Johansson, Professor of Economics at JIBS. Assigned by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth he has together with his co-authors studied why the big city regions are growing.
Business Services are outsourced tasks, e.g. telephone services, collections of debts and further education services. Diversity is here specified as the accessibility of goods and services as well as the concentration of one specific type of shop in the city centre.
– Thanks to business services greater diversity can be created in the region. The companies that take advantage of the services grow more efficient, the business services companies themselves also develop and this leads to growth in the region, says Professor Johansson.
A region such as Jönköping, a medium sized region with approximately 100 000 inhabitants, will have approximately 20 percent of its working population employed in business service companies. In the big city regions this percentage is much higher. In the Stockholm region it is as high as 42 percent, whilst the same region only has 12 percent of its working population working in the manufacturing industry.
Börje Johansson will be presenting his results at this year’s ERSA Congress. This assembly is the 50th Anniversary ERSA (European Regional Science Association) congress. ERSA has some 3 500 members, both academics, policy professionals and researchers, in 17 active associations across Europe. ERSA is one of the 3 supra-regional associations of RSAI (Regional Science Association International).