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Spatial spillovers and innovation activity in European regions

  • Rosina Moreno
  • Raffaele Paci
  • Stefano Usai

This paper explores the spatial distribution of innovative activity and the role of technological spillovers in the process of knowledge creation and diffusion across 175 regions of seventeen countries in Europe (the fifteen members of the pre-2004 European Union plus Switzerland and Norway). The analysis is based on a databank set up by CRENoS on regional patenting at the European Patent Office, spanning 1978 – 2001 and classified by ISIC sectors. The first step is an exploratory spatial data analysis of the dissemination of innovative activity in Europe. The goal of the rest of the paper is to analyse to what extent externalities that cross regional boundaries can explain the spatial association process detected in the distribution of innovative activity in the European regions. The framework given by the knowledge-production function together with the use of spatial econometrics techniques allow us to look for insights on the mechanics of knowledge interdependences across regions, which are shown to exist. Empirical results point to the relevance of internal regional factors (R &D expenditure and agglomeration economies). Moreover, the production of knowledge appears also to be affected by spatial spillovers due to innovative activity (both patenting and R &D) performed in other regions. Additional results show that spillovers are mostly constrained by national borders within less than 250 km, and that technological similarity between regions also matters.

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Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 1793-1812

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Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:37:y:2005:i:10:p:1793-1812
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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Robert Evenson & Daniel Johnson, 1997. "Introduction: Invention Input-Output Analysis," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 149-160.
  14. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-40, June.
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