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Mobility of inventors and the geography of knowledge spillovers. New evidence on US data

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Author Info

  • Stefano Breschi

    (CESPRI-Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Francesco Lissoni

    (Brescia University and CESPRI-Bocconi University, Italy)

Abstract

In this paper we exploit new data on US inventors in Organic Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotechnology to revisit the JTH test of the localization of knowledge spillovers (Jaffe, Trajtenberg, and Henderson; 1993). We find that inventors who patent across different companies contribute extensively to the observed citation patterns, both directly (through personal self-citations) and indirectly, by linking the various companies via a social network conducive to more citations. To the extent that the geographical mobility of these “cross-firm” inventors is quite limited, the resulting social networks and citations patterns are found to be bounded in space. We conclude that spatial distance, as measured in the JTH experiment, is just a proxy for a much more important variable, such as social distance between inventors. In a similar vein, we show that technological distance, introduced by Thompson and Fox-Kean (2005) to question the soundness of the JTH experiment, is also a proxy of social distance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 184.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision: Oct 2006
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp184

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Related research

Keywords: Knowledge diffusion; Localized spillovers; Social networks;

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References

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  1. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2001. "Knowledge spillovers and local innovation systems: a critical survey," LIUC Papers in Economics 84, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
  2. David C. Mowery & Arvids A. Ziedonis, 2001. "The Geographic Reach of Market and Non-Market Channels of Technology Transfer: Comparing Citations and Licenses of University Patents," NBER Working Papers 8568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2004. "Knowledge networks from patent data: Methodological issues and research targets," KITeS Working Papers 150, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jan 2004.
  4. Jarle Moen, 2005. "Is Mobility of Technical Personnel a Source of R&D Spillovers?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 81-114, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mohamed Belhaj & Frédéric Deroian, 2010. "Endogenous effort in communication networks under strategic complementarity," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 391-408, July.
  2. Ron Boschma & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Dieter Kogler, 2011. "A relational approach to knowledge spillovers in biotech. Network structures as drivers of inter-organizational citation patterns," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1120, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Dec 2011.
  3. Laura Abramovsky & Helen Simpson, 2008. "Geographic Proximity and Firm-University Innovation Linkages: evidence from Great Britain," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/200, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Corinne Autant-Bernard & Muriel Fadairo & Nadine Massard, 2010. "Knowledge diffusion and innovation policies within the European regions: Challenges based on recent empirical evidence," Working Papers 1010, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  5. Schön, Benjamin & Pyka, Andreas, 2012. "A taxonomy of innovation networks," FZID Discussion Papers 42-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  6. Nunzia Carbonara & Ilaria Giannoccaro, 2011. "Interpreting the role of proximity on Industrial District competitiveness using a complexity science-based view and Systems Dynamics simulation," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 415-436, December.
  7. Corinne Autant-Bernard, 2011. "Spatial econometrics of innovation: Recent contributions and research perspectives," Working Papers halshs-00605056, HAL.
  8. Attila Varga & Andrea Parag, 2008. "Academic Knowledge Transfers and the Structure of International Research Networks," Working Papers 2008/2, University of Pécs, Department of Economics and Regional Studies, revised Mar 2008.
  9. Cusmano, Lucia & Mancusi, Maria Luisa & Morrison, Andrea, 2009. "Innovation and the geographical and organisational dimensions of outsourcing: Evidence from Italian firm-level data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 183-195, September.
  10. Boari, Cristina & Fioretti, Guido & Odorici, Vincenza, 2008. "Rivalry and Learning Among Clustered and Isolated Firms," MPRA Paper 13066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Camilla Lenzi, 2010. "Workers’ mobility and patterns of knowledge diffusion: evidence from Italian data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(6), pages 651-670, December.

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