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Inventors and the Geographical Breadth of Knowledge Spillovers

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  • Paola Giuri
  • Myriam Mariani

Abstract

This paper studies the geographical breadth of knowledge spillovers. Previous research suggests that knowledge spillovers benefit from geographical proximity in technologically active and rich regions more than elsewhere. An alternative view explains the geographical breadth of knowledge spillovers as a function of the characteristics and personal networks of the individuals. We test these two competing theories by using information provided directly by the inventors of 6,750 European patents (PatVal-EU survey). Our results confirm the importance of inventors' personal background. However, compared to previous research, we find that the level of education of the inventors is key in shaping the geographical breadth of knowledge spillovers. Highly educated inventors rely more on geographically wide research networks than their less educated peers. This holds after controlling for the mobility of the inventors and for the scientific nature of the research performed. Differently, location matters only in the very rare regions in Europe that perform the bulk of the research in the specific discipline of the inventors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2007/26.

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Date of creation: 19 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2007/26

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Cited by:
  1. Broström, Anders, 2010. "Working with distant researchers--Distance and content in university-industry interaction," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1311-1320, December.
  2. Olivier Bouba-Olga & Marie Ferru, 2012. "Does Geographical Proximity Still Matter?," Working Papers hal-00725073, HAL.
  3. Katharina Frosch, 2009. "Do only new brooms sweep clean? A review on workforce age and innovation," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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