Dr. F.M.H. Neffke (Frank)
Frank Neffke works on the concept of “relatedness”. People and firms have distinct capabilities that allow them to participate productively in the economy. However, although these capabilities are often highly specific to the activity in which they specialize, they are to a certain degree adaptable to the use in other activities. In fact, some activities are very similar, such as insurance and banking activities. Other activities are very dissimilar however, like health care and software development. The linkages that exist or are absent between industries in terms of similarities in the capabilities and knowledge they require can be distilled from large-scale databases containing information on the decisions of individuals and firms to engage in different activities at the same time. Using such information, the economy can be conceptualized as a network of activities that are interdependent in terms of knowledge linkages among them, making up industry or technological spaces. Frank’s research focuses on the way these networks and their evolving manifestations through time and space shape economic developments in firms, regions and countries.
Frank Neffke (1979) studied Econometrics and Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and wrote his Ph.D. thesis, “Productive places, the influence of technological change and relatedness on agglomeration externalities”, at the department of Economic Geography of Utrecht University. Presently, he holds a position as an assistant professor at the department of Applied Economics of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.