IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/juecon/v64y2008i2p258-269.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How do spatial and social proximity influence knowledge flows? Evidence from patent data

Author

Listed:
  • Agrawal, Ajay
  • Kapur, Devesh
  • McHale, John

Abstract

We examine how the spatial and social proximity of inventors affects access to knowledge, focusing especially on how the two forms of proximity interact. Employing patent citation data and using same-MSA and co-ethnicity as proxies for spatial and social proximity, respectively, we estimate a knowledge flow production function. Our results suggest that although spatial and social proximity both increase the probability of knowledge flows between individuals, the marginal benefit of geographic proximity is greater for inventors who are not socially close. We also report that the marginal benefit of being members of the same technical community of practice is greater in terms of access to knowledge for inventors who are not co-located. Overall, these results imply that spatial and social proximity are substitutes in their influence on access to knowledge. We discuss the implications of these findings in terms of the optimal dispersion of socially connected inventors.

Suggested Citation

  • Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John, 2008. "How do spatial and social proximity influence knowledge flows? Evidence from patent data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 258-269, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:64:y:2008:i:2:p:258-269
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094-1190(08)00004-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    2. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    3. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    4. repec:wsi:wschap:9789814719902_0007 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    8. Olav Sorenson & Jan W. Rivkin & Lee Fleming, 2010. "Complexity, Networks and Knowledge Flows," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 465-466, March.
    10. Iain M. Cockburn & Samuel Kortum & Scott Stern, 2002. "Are All Patent Examiners Equal? The Impact of Examiner Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 8980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ramana Nanda & Tarun Khanna, 2010. "Diasporas and Domestic Entrepreneurs: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 991-1012, December.
    12. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-390, June.
    13. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 450-460, March.
    14. Ajay Agrawal & Devesh Kapur & John McHale, 2007. "Birds of a Feather - Better Together? Exploring the Optimal Spatial Distribution of Ethnic Inventors," NBER Working Papers 12823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
    16. Arturs Kalnins & Wilbur Chung, 2006. "Social Capital, Geography, and Survival: Gujarati Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the U.S. Lodging Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 233-247, February.
    17. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:64:y:2008:i:2:p:258-269. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.