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The spatial dimension of patenting by multinational firms in europe

  • Bart Verspagen
  • Wilfred Schoenmakers

We investigate the spatial pattern of patenting by the world's largest multinational enterprises (MNEs). Based on a summary of the theoretical literature, we expect spatial concentration of patenting by these large MNEs. A database is developed that provides information on MNE patenting from European regions. This database is used to describe a number of features of the spatial pattern of patenting by MNEs in Europe. The main findings are that MNEs patenting is strongly concentrated in a relatively small number of regions, and that the share of foreign patenting in total patenting varies greatly by firm. We use patent citations to measure the spatial concentration of knowledge flows between firms, and within the same firm between different regional locations. For the majority of cases, we find that units between which patent citations occur are located relatively near to each other, which indeed points to the spatial character of patent citations. This holds for between-firms citations and within-firms citations. Moreover, we find a distinct time pattern associated to knowledge flows: the spatial scope of these flows first broadens but then narrows down again. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 23-42

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:1:p:23-42
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  1. Basberg, Bjorn L., 1987. "Patents and the measurement of technological change: A survey of the literature," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2-4), pages 131-141, August.
  2. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1999. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence From Patent Citations," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 105-136.
  4. Jaffe, Adam B & Fogarty, Michael S & Banks, Bruce A, 1998. "Evidence from Patents and Patent Citations on the Impact of NASA and Other Federal Labs on Commercial Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 183-205, June.
  5. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  6. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Michael S. Fogarty, 2000. "The Meaning of Patent Citations: Report on the NBER/Case-Western Reserve Survey of Patentees," NBER Working Papers 7631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
  8. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1996. "Flows of Knowledge from Universities and Federal Labs: Modeling the Flowof Patent Citations Over Time and Across Institutional and Geographic Boundari," NBER Working Papers 5712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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