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Technological and geographical knowledge spillover in the German empire 1877-1918

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  • JOCHEN STREB
  • J�RG BATEN
  • SHUXI YIN

Abstract

We use a newly developed data set of 39,343 high-value patents granted between 1877 and 1918 to demonstrate that technological progress during German industrialization occurred in at least four different technological waves. We distinguish the railway wave (1877-86), the dye wave (1887-96), the chemical wave (1897-1902), and the wave of electrical engineering (1903-18). Evidence is presented that inter-industry knowledge spillovers between technologically, economically, and geographically related industries were a major source for innovative activities during German industrialization. We also show that technological change affected the geographical distribution of innovative regions. Using an index of technologically revealed comparative advantage we find that regions that increased their innovativeness during the waves of technological progress revealed special strength in technological clusters like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or chemicals. Copyright Economic History Society 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic History Society in its journal The Economic History Review.

Volume (Year): 59 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 347-373

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:59:y:2006:i:2:p:347-373

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Cited by:
  1. Richter, Ralf & Streb, Jochen, 2011. "Catching-Up and Falling Behind: Knowledge Spillover from American to German Machine Toolmakers," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 1006-1031, December.
  2. Francesco Cinnirella & Jochen Streb, 2013. "The Role of Human Capital and Innovation in Prussian Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 4391, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Kirsten Labuske & Jochen Streb, 2008. "Technological Creativity and Cheap Labour? Explaining the Growing International Competitiveness of German Mechanical Engineering before World War I," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 65-86, 02.
  4. Alessandro Nuvolari & Michelangelo Vasta, 2013. "Independent Invention in Italy during the Liberal Age, 1861-1913," LEM Papers Series 2013/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Makiko Hino & Mototsugu Fukushige, 2014. "Catching up and falling behind in technological progress: the experience of the textile and chemical industries in Italy between 1904 and 1937," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-14, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  6. Degner, Harald, 2010. "Windows of technological opportunity: do technological booms influence the relationship between firm size and innovativeness?," FZID Discussion Papers 15-2010, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  7. Dietmar Harhoff, 2008. "Innovation, Entrepreneurship und Demographie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 46-72, 08.

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