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The Dynamics of the Inventor Network in German Biotechnology: Geographical Proximity versus Triadic Closure

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  • Anne L.J. Ter Wal

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Abstract

Economic geography has developed a stronghold analysing how geography impacts innovation. Yet, despite increased interest in networks, a critical assessment of the role of geography in the evolution of networks is still lacking. This paper juxtaposes geographical proximity with the network of prior ties as alternative mechanisms for tie formation. Analysing the evolution of inventor networks in German biotechnology, the paper theoretically argues and empirically demonstrates that - as the technological regime of an industry changes over time - inventors increasingly rely on network resources by forming links to partners of partners, whilst the direct impact of geographical proximity on tie formation decreases.

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File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1102.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 1102.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision: Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1102

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Keywords: network evolution; geographical proximity; triadic closure; inventor networks;

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References

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  1. Lemarie, Stephane & Mangematin, Vincent & Torre, Andre, 2001. " Is the Creation and Development of Biotech SMEs Localised? Conclusions Drawn from the French Case," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1-2), pages 61-76, Aug.-Sept.
  2. Anne Ter Wal & Ron Boschma, 2011. "Co-evolution of Firms, Industries and Networks in Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(7), pages 919-933.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Mathijs De Vaan & Ron Boschma, 2013. "The dynamics of interfirm networks along the industry life cycle: The case of the global video game industry, 1987--2007," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 741-765, September.
  2. Sidonia von Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "The Dynamics of Inter-Regional Collaboration – An Analysis of Co-Patenting," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2011-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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