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University Research and the Location of Business R&D

  • Laura Abramovsky
  • Rupert Harrison
  • Helen Simpson

We investigate the relationship between the location of private sector R&D labs and university research departments in Great Britain. We combine establishment-level data on R&D activity with information on levels and changes in research quality from the Research Assessment Exercise. The strongest evidence for co-location is for pharmaceuticals R&D, which is disproportionately located near to relevant university research, particularly 5 or 5* rated chemistry departments. This relationship is stronger for foreign-owned labs, consistent with multinationals sourcing technology internationally. We also find some evidence for co-location with lower rated research departments in industries such as machinery and communications equipment. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 519 (03)
Pages: C114-C141

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:519:p:c114-c141
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  1. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  2. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
  3. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2003. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 56, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  4. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1998. "Innovation in Cities: Science-Based Diversity, Specialization and Localized Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1980, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Harhoff, Dietmar, 1995. "Firm formation and regional spillovers: evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-11, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Karlsson, Charlie & Andersson, Martin, 2005. "The Location of Industry R&D and the Location of University R&D - How are They related?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 38, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
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