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Spreading the Word: Geography, Policy and University Knowledge Diffusion

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  • Belenzon, Sharon
  • Schankerman, Mark

Abstract

Using new data on citations to university patents and scientific publications, and measures of distance based on Google maps, we study how geography affects university knowledge diffusion. We show that knowledge flows from patents are localized in two respects: they decline sharply with distance up to about 100 miles, and they are strongly constrained by state borders, controlling for distance. While distance also constrains knowledge spillovers from publications, the state border does not. We investigate how the strength of the state border effect varies with university and state characteristics. It is larger for patents from public, as compared to private, universities and this is partly explained by the local development policies of universities. The border effect is larger in states with stronger non-compete laws that affect intra-state labor mobility, and those with greater reliance on in-state educated scientists and engineers. We confirm the impact of non-compete statutes by studying a policy reform in Michigan that introduced such restrictions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8002.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8002

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Keywords: diffusion; geography; knowledge spillovers; patents; scientific publications; university technology transfer;

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References

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  1. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lychagin, Sergey & Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E. & Van Reenen, John, 2010. "Spillovers in Space: Does Geography Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7928, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Naomi Hausman, 2012. "University Innovation, Local Economic Growth, and Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 12-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Guido Bünstorf & Christoph Engel & Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2013. "Win Shift Lose Stay - An Experimental Test of Non-Compete Clauses," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_17, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  4. Buenstorf, Guido & Schacht, Alexander, 2013. "We need to talk – or do we? Geographic distance and the commercialization of technologies from public research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 465-480.
  5. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wipo, 2011. "World Intellectual Property Report 2011- The Changing Face of Innovation," WIPO Economics & Statistics Series, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, number 2011:944, March.
  7. Stefan Wagner & Karin Hoisl & Grid Thoma, 2013. "Overcoming localization of knowledge: The role of professional service firms," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-13-09, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.

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