Innovation is considered a key variable for determining regional economic resistance. However, a very few studies aiming to determine the existence of a relationship between innovation and regional resilience - in its various dimensions - have been carried out until now. Our paper aims at narrowing the gap in this regard by looking at the ability of ‘resistance’ showed by the Italian provinces (NUTS3 level) in the 2008-2014 recessionary period. Our statistical analysis reveals that innovation, proxied by employment variation rate in high tech sectors, is not clearly associated with ‘resistance’ at the regional level. Other variables such as diversity of regional economic activities, GDP variation rate, population density and geographical location are actually associated with a higher degree of resistance, while related variety shows an inverse and statistically significant correlation.
Keywords: Innovation, resilience, Related Variety, Unrelated Variety, economic crisis, Italy