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Spatial Distribution of Patents in China


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  • Yifei Sun


SUN Y. (2000) Spatial distribution of patents in China, Reg. Studies 34 , 441-454. It is found that patents in China are highly clustered in two groups of provinces: one is the economically fast growing coastal provinces; and the other is inland provinces with large bases of populations, while the degree of spatial concentration of patents is declining over time. It is also revealed that export, together with 'technical infrastructure' including producer services and development of technology transfer market explains most of the provincial variation of patents. Furthermore, foreign ventures do not seem to be an important player in China's innovation system, while both state-owned and collective-owned industries contribute significantly to creations of new products in China. Finally, some commonly cited significant factors for innovations in western literature such as research and development (R&D) and agglomeration do not seem to explain the spatial distribution of patents in China. It is argued that such discrepancies between western 'common sense' and Chinese experience are largely attributed to China's inefficient innovation system, which has not been able to develop its potentiality. SUN Y. (2000) La distribution geographique des brevets en Chine, Reg. Studies 34 , 441-454. Il s'avere qu'en Chine les brevets sont groupes autour de deux grappes de provinces: l'une comprend les provinces cotieres en pleine expansion, l'autre inclut les provinces interieures caracterisees par de grands bassins de populations. Toujours est-il que la concentration geographique des brevets diminue avec le temps. Il est evident aussi que l'exportation, conjointement avec l'infrastructure technique, y compris les services d'equipement et le developpement du marche du transfert de la technologie, explique dans une large mesure la distribution provinciale des brevets. De plus, il semble que les entreprises etrangeres n'ont pas de role important a jouer dans le systeme d'innovation en Chine, alors que les industries sous controle de l'Etat ou collectivisees contribuent de facon importante aux creations des produits nouveaux en Chine. Pour conclure, quelques idees recues, puisees dans la documentation occidentale, sur les facteurs qui facilitent l'apparition des innovations, tels la recherche et le developpement (R et D), et l'agglomeration, ne suffisent pas a expliquer la distribution geographique des brevets en Chine. On affirme que de tels ecarts entre le bon sens occidental et l'experience chinoise peuvent etre attribues dans une large mesure au systeme d'innovation chinois inefficace qui n'a pas exploite pleinement ses possibilites. SUN Y. (2000) Raumliche Verteilung von Patenten in China, Reg. Studies 34 , 441-454. Es erweist sich, dass Patente in China stark gehauft in zwei Provinzgruppen auftreten: eine in den Kustenprovinzen, die ein rasches Wachstum zu verzeichnen haben, die andere in den Inlandprovinzen, die Standort betrachtlicer Bevolkerungszahlen sind, doch das Ausmass der raumlichen Konzentration von Patenten lasst im Laufe der Zeit nach. Es zeigt sich auch, dass Export, sowie ''technische Infrastruktur'' einschliesslich HerstellerDienstleistungen und Entwicklung von Markten fur Technologietransfer grosstenteils die Unterschiede zwischen Provinzen bezuglich Patenten erklaren. Daruberhinaus scheinen Auslandsunternehmungen keine bedeutende Rolle im Innovationssystem Chinas zu spielen, wahrend sowohl im staatlichen Besitz wie im Kollektivbesitz befindliche Industrien in China betrachtlich zur Schaffung neuer Produkte beitragen. Manche in der westlichen Literatur oft als fur Innovation bedeutsam erklarten Faktoren schliesslich, wie etwa Forschung und Entwicklung, und Ballung, geben jedoch anscheinend keine gute Erklarung fur die raumliche Verteilung von Patenten in China ab. Es wird die Behauptung aufgestellt, dass solche Diskrepanzen zwischen westlichem ''gesunden Menschenverstand'' und Erfahrungen, die in China gemacht wurden, weitgehend Chinas schlecht funktionierendes Innovationssystem zugeschrieben werden, dem es nicht gelungen ist, sein Potential zu erreichen.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

Volume (Year): 34 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 441-454

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Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:34:y:2000:i:5:p:441-454

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Keywords: Patents; Technical Infrastructure; Export; R D; Technology Transfer Market; Brevets; Infrastructure Technique; Exportation; R Et D; Marche Du Transfert Technologique; Patente; Technische Infrastruktur; Export; Forschung Und Entwicklung; Markte Fur Technologietransfer;


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  2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Fan, Peilei & Wan, Guanghua, 2006. "China's Regional Inequality in Innovation Capability, 1995-2004," Working Paper Series RP2006/153, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. George Petrakos & Maria Tsiapa, 2001. "The Spatial Aspects of Enterprise Learning in Transition Countries," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 549-562.
  3. Weiping Wu, 2010. "Managing and incentivizing research commercialization in Chinese Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 203-224, April.
  4. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers & Zhihong Yu, 2011. "Is the Dragon Learning to Fly? An Analysis of the Chinese Patent Explosion," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Michael Funke & Hao Yu, 2009. "Economic Growth Across Chinese Provinces: In Search of Innovation-Driven Gains," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20909, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.


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