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Clusters of knowledge: R&D proximity and the spillover effect


  • Gerald A. Carlino
  • Jake Carr


> T he United States is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, to name a few. Inventive activity depends on research and development, and R&D depends on, among other things, the exchange of ideas among individuals. People’s physical proximity is a key ingredient in the innovation process. Steve Jobs understood this when he helped to design the layout of Pixar Animation Studios. The original plan called for three buildings, with separate offices for animators, scientists, and executives. Jobs instead opted for a single building with a vast atrium at its core. To ensure that animators, scientists, and executives frequently interacted and exchanged ideas, Jobs moved the mailboxes, the cafeteria, and the meeting rooms to the center of the building.

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  • Gerald A. Carlino & Jake Carr, 2013. "Clusters of knowledge: R&D proximity and the spillover effect," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 11-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2013:i:q3:p:11-22

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 2002. "Innovation and Input Sharing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 25-45, January.
    4. Mohammad Arzaghi & J. Vernon Henderson, 2008. "Networking off Madison Avenue," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1011-1038.
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