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Innovation and spillovers in regions: Evidence from European patent data

  • Bottazzi, Laura
  • Peri, Giovanni

The aim of this paper is to estimate the effect of research externalities across space, in generating innovation.We do so by using R&D and patent data for eighty-six European Regions in the 1977-1995 period. We find that spillovers exist for regions within a distance of 300 Km from each other. The estimates are robust to simultaneity, omitted variable bias, different specifications of distance functions, country and border effects. The size of these spillovers is small, though. Doubling R&D spending in a region would increase the output of new ideas in other regions within 300 Km only by 2-3%, while it would increase the innovation of the region itself by 80-90%. Given the small size and the limited range of diffusion, we interpret these externalities as the result of local diffusion of non-codified knowledge, embodied in people and spreading via personal contacts. This interpretation is reinforced by the finding that the spillovers are somewhat weaker across national borders.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 47 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 687-710

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:47:y:2003:i:4:p:687-710
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
  3. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
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  11. Wolfgang Keller, 2002. "Geographic Localization of International Technology Diffusion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 120-142, March.
  12. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Maurseth, Per Botolf & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. " Knowledge Spillovers in Europe: A Patent Citations Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 531-45, December.
  14. Gordon H. Hanson, 2000. "Scale Economies and the Geographic Concentration of Industry," NBER Working Papers 8013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Antonio Ciccone, 1998. "Agglomeration-effects in Europe," Economics Working Papers 499, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 1999.
  17. Zvi Griliches, 1991. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 3768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  19. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Laura Bottazzi & Giovanni Peri, 2000. "Innovation and Spillovers: Evidence from European Regions," CESifo Working Paper Series 340, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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