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On Clustering in the Location of R&D: Statics and Dynamics


  • Robin Cowan
  • William Cowan


Empirical analyses of research and development find strong evidence that these activities tend to cluster geographically. Clusters are thought to emerge from the presence of localized positive externalities. This paper presents a model of this clustering behaviour. We find that phase changes in clustering exist both as the strength of local externalities changes and as the degree of heterogeneity among firms changes. The dynamics of the system are examined as it responds to shocks to the size of the market for R&D output, and the length scale of the spatially dependent externalities. Dynamic responses take place in two distinct stages: a rapid response to the change in market systems which takes place throughout the space, with litlle regard to externality effects; followed by a slow re-agglomeration process as producers change their spatial decisions to lower the costs of the new production level.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Cowan & William Cowan, 1998. "On Clustering in the Location of R&D: Statics and Dynamics," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2-3), pages 201-230.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:6:y:1998:i:2-3:p:201-230 DOI: 10.1080/10438599800000020

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-361, July-Aug..
    2. Jacques Mairesse & Mohamed Sassenou, 1991. "R&D Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 3666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giulio Bottazzi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Giovanni Dosi, 2002. "Mapping Sectoral Patterns of Technological Accumulation into the Geography of Corporate Locations. A Simple Model and Some Promising Evidence," LEM Papers Series 2002/21, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Brigitte Evelyne Granville & Carol Scott Leonard, 2006. "Do institutions matter for technological change in transition economies? The case of the Russia's 89 regions and republics," UCL SSEES Economics and Business working paper series 70, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).
    3. Cowan, Robin & Cowan, William, 1998. "Technological Standardization with and without Borders in an Interacting Agents Model," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Giulio Bottazzi & Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2001. "On the Ubiquitous Nature of the Agglomeration Economies and their Diverse Determinants: Some Notes," LEM Papers Series 2001/10, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

    More about this item


    R&D; agglomeration; spatial models; interdependence; externalities J.E.L. Classification: D21; 032; R1I. R12; R30;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General


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