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. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 7, pages 187-222, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. 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.
    7. Olav Sorenson & Jan W. Rivkin & Lee Fleming, 2010. "Complexity, Networks and Knowledge Flows," Chapters, in: Ron Boschma & Ron Martin (ed.), The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-390, June.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. R. Grafton & Tom Kompas & P. Owen, 2007. "Bridging the barriers: knowledge connections, productivity and capital accumulation," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 219-231, December.
    3. Ajay Agrawal & Iain Cockburn & John McHale, 2003. "Gone But Not Forgotten: Labor Flows, Knowledge Spillovers, and Enduring Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 9950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Thomas Kemeny, 2013. "Immigrant Diversity and Economic Development in Cities: A Critical Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0149, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    5. Agrawal, Ajay & Kapur, Devesh & McHale, John & Oettl, Alexander, 2011. "Brain drain or brain bank? The impact of skilled emigration on poor-country innovation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 43-55, January.
    6. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2014. "The Growth of Cities," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 5, pages 781-853, Elsevier.
    7. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Ding Ding & Per Thulin, 2018. "The knowledge spillover theory of intrapreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-30, June.
    8. Chad Sparber, 2009. "Racial Diversity and Aggregate Productivity in U.S. Industries: 1980–2000," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 75(3), pages 829-856, January.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser & William R. Kerr, 2009. "Local Industrial Conditions and Entrepreneurship: How Much of the Spatial Distribution Can We Explain?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 623-663, September.
    10. Feldman, Maryann P. & Kogler, Dieter F., 2010. "Stylized Facts in the Geography of Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 381-410, Elsevier.
    11. P. Dorian Owen & R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas, 2004. "Productivity, Factor Accumulation and Social Networks: Theory and Evidence," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 224, Econometric Society.
    12. Tom Kemeny & Abigail Cooke, 2017. "Urban Immigrant Diversity and Inclusive Institutions," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 93(3), pages 267-291, May.
    13. Ufuk Akcigit & William R. Kerr, 2018. "Growth through Heterogeneous Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1374-1443.
    14. William R. Kerr & Frederic Robert-Nicoud, 2020. "Tech Clusters," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 50-76, Summer.
    15. Sparber, Chad, 2008. "A theory of racial diversity, segregation, and productivity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 210-226, October.
    16. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Yuan K. Chou, 2002. "Modelling Social Capital And Growth," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 865, The University of Melbourne.
    18. Breda, Thomas & Manning, Alan, 2016. "Diversity and social capital within the workplace:evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69042, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Keith Brouhle & Brad Graham & Donna R Harrington, 2015. "Knowledge flows within a government supported program," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2326-2332.
    20. Annekatrin Niebuhr, 2010. "Migration and innovation: Does cultural diversity matter for regional R&D activity?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(3), pages 563-585, August.

    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: . 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 bibliographic 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.

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

    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.