Knowledge Economy and Service Activities - (Paper first received, May 2009; in final form, July 2009)This paper identifies some paths in the evolution of the international and mainly European literature on service activities, and it seeks to relate them to the emerging interest in the cognitive dimension of innovation processes. In particular, it indicates the contributions of Italian researchers who have actively participated in this international debate and in some cases anticipated new perspectives which have then been adopted by other researchers. A characteristic of these contributions is the link between the analysis of services sectors and the spatial characteristics of Italy, such as the diffusion of industrial districts made up of SME specialized in medium technology sectors and the evolution of the Italian urban system consisting of numerous small and medium-sized cities.
Keywords: services, KIBS, innovation, knowledge economy, urbanization economies
JEL Classification: R3, L8, O3