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Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations

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  • Adam B. Jaffe
  • Manuel Trajtenberg
  • Rebecca Henderson

Abstract

We compare the geographic location of patent citations with that of the cited patents, as evidence of the extent to which knowledge spillovers are geographically localized. We find that citations to domestic patents are more likely to be domestic, and more likely to come from the same state and SMSA as the cited patents, compared with a "control frequency" reflecting the pre-existing concentration of related research activity. These effects are particularly significant at the local (SMSA) level. Localization fades over time, but only very slowly. There is no evidence that more "basic" inventions diffuse more rapidly than others.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:577-598.
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    1. Carpenter, Mark P. & Narin, Francis, 1983. "Validation study: Patent citations as indicators of science and foreign dependence," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 180-185.
    2. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Nadiri, M Ishaq, 1988. "Interindustry R&D Spillovers, Rates of Return, and Production in High-Tech Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 429-434, May.
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