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Structural holes, innovation and the distribution of ideas

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  • Robin Cowan

    ()

  • Nicolas Jonard

Abstract

We model knowledge diffusion in a population of agents situated on a network, interacting only over direct ties. Some agents are by nature traders, others are by nature "givers": traders demand a quid pro quo for information transfer; givers do not. We are interested in efficiency of diffusion and explore the interplay between the structure of the population (proportion of traders), the network structure (clustering, path length and degree distribution), and the scarcity of knowledge. We find that at the global level, trading (as opposed to giving) reduces efficiency. At the individual level, highly connected agents do well when knowledge is scarce, agents in clustered neighbourhoods do well when it is abundant. The latter finding is connected to the debate on structural holes and social capital.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination.

Volume (Year): 2 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 93-110

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jeicoo:v:2:y:2007:i:2:p:93-110

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/11403

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References

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  1. Thomas Brenner & Claudia Werker, 2004. "Empirical Calibration of Simulation Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 89, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
  4. Joel A. C. Baum & Andrew V. Shipilov & Tim J. Rowley, 2003. "Where do small worlds come from?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 697-725, August.
  5. Hicks, Diana, 1995. "Published Papers, Tacit Competencies and Corporate Management of the Public/Private Character of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 401-24.
  6. Maryann Feldman, 1999. "The New Economics Of Innovation, Spillovers And Agglomeration: Areview Of Empirical Studies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 5-25.
  7. Cowan,Robin & Jonard,Nicolas, 2000. "The Dynamics of Collective Invention," Research Memorandum 018, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  9. Granstrand, Ove & Sjolander, Soren, 1990. "Managing innovation in multi-technology corporations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 35-60, February.
  10. Cowan,Robin & Jonard,Nicolas, 1999. "Network Structure and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Research Memorandum 026, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  11. Schrader, Stephan, 1991. "Informal technology transfer between firms: Cooperation through information trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 153-170, April.
  12. von Hippel, Eric, 1987. "Cooperation between rivals: Informal know-how trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 291-302, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Uwe Cantner & Bastian Rake, 2011. "International Research Networks in Pharmaceuticals: Structure and Dynamics," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-055, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7346 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Mauro Napoletano & Stefano Battiston & Michael D König & Frank Schweitzer, 2008. "The efficiency and evolution of R&D Networks," Sciences Po publications 2008-31, Sciences Po.
  4. Cilem Selin Hazir, 2011. "Conceptualizing the Role of Geographical Proximity in Project Based R&D Networks: A Literature Survey," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1616, European Regional Science Association.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/9935 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. König, Michael D. & Battiston, S. & Napoletano, M. & Schweitzer, F., 2011. "Recombinant knowledge and the evolution of innovation networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 145-164, August.
  7. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/9933 is not listed on IDEAS

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