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Information Technology and the Distribution of Inventive Activity

In: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy

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  • Chris Forman
  • Avi Goldfarb
  • Shane Greenstein

Abstract

We examine the relationship between the diffusion of advanced internet technology and the geographic concentration of invention, as measured by patents. First, we show that patenting became more concentrated from the early 1990s to the early 2000s and, similarly, that counties that were leaders in patenting in the early 1990s produced relatively more patents by the early 2000s. Second, we compare the extent of invention in counties that were leaders in internet adoption to those that were not. We see little difference in the growth rate of patenting between leaders and laggards in internet adoption, on average. However, we find that the rate of patent growth was faster among counties who were not leaders in patenting in the early 1990s but were leaders in internet adoption by 2000, suggesting that the internet helped stem the trend towards more geographic concentration. We show that these results are largely driven by patents filed by distant collaborators rather than non-collaborative patents or patents by non-distant collaborators, suggesting low cost long-distance digital communication as a potential mechanism.

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

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This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 13032.

Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13032

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  1. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
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  3. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
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  6. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Ajay K. Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb, 2006. "Restructuring Research: Communication Costs and the Democratization of University Innovation," NBER Working Papers 12812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2012. "The Internet and Local Wages: A Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 556-75, February.
  9. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  10. Waverly W. Ding & Sharon G. Levin & Paula E. Stephan & Anne E. Winkler, 2010. "The Impact of Information Technology on Academic Scientists' Productivity and Collaboration Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(9), pages 1439-1461, September.
  11. Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Blum, Bernardo S. & Goldfarb, Avi, 2006. "Does the internet defy the law of gravity?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 384-405, December.
  13. Brynjolfsson, Erik & Hitt, Lorin M., 2004. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," Working papers 4210-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  14. Chris Forman & Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein, 2008. "Understanding the Inputs into Innovation: Do Cities Substitute for Internal Firm Resources?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 295-316, 06.
  15. Todd Sinai & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Geography and the Internet: Is the Internet a Substitute or a Complement for Cities?," NBER Working Papers 10028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mercedes Delgado & Michael Porter & Scott Stern, 2010. "Clusters and Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 10-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. Kolko, Jed, 2001. "Silicon Mountains, Silicon Molehills. Geographic Concentration and Convergence of Internet Industries in the US," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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  21. Ajay K. Agrawal & Christian Catalini & Avi Goldfarb, 2011. "The Geography of Crowdfunding," NBER Working Papers 16820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Tom Downes & Shane Greenstein, 2005. "Understanding Why Universal Service Obligations May Be Unnecessary: The Private Development of Local Internet Access Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0516, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
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Cited by:
  1. Ajay Agrawal & John McHale & Alexander Oettl, 2013. "Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology," NBER Working Papers 19653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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