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Science, Social Networks and Spillovers

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  • Olav Sorenson
  • Jasjit Singh

Abstract

Although prior empirical research has established an association between science and the widespread diffusion of knowledge, the exact mechanism(s) through which science catalyses information flow remains somewhat ambiguous. This paper investigates whether the knowledge diffusion associated with science-based innovation stems from the norm of openness and incentives for publication, or whether scientists maintain more extensive and dispersed social networks that facilitate the dissemination of tacit knowledge. Our analysis supports the first mechanism: we track the movement of knowledge with patent citations, and find that science-based innovations diffuse more rapidly and widely, even after controlling for the underlying social networks of researchers as measured using information on prior collaborations. We also find that publication and social networks act as substitutes in the diffusion of knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Olav Sorenson & Jasjit Singh, 2007. "Science, Social Networks and Spillovers," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 219-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:14:y:2007:i:2:p:219-238
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710701253482
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    1. repec:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:8:p:1246-1258 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dornbusch, Friedrich & Brenner, Thomas, 2013. "Universities as local knowledge hubs under different technology regimes: New evidence from academic patenting," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R6/2013, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. Singh, Jasjit, 2008. "Distributed R&D, cross-regional knowledge integration and quality of innovative output," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 77-96, February.
    4. Francesco Quatraro & Stefano Usai, 2017. "Are knowledge flows all alike? Evidence from European regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 1246-1258, August.
    5. Uwe Cantner & Andreas Meder, 2007. "Technological proximity and the choice of cooperation partner," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 2(1), pages 45-65, June.
    6. Friedrich Dornbusch & Thomas Brenner, 2013. "Universities as local knowledge hubs under different technology regimes – New evidence from academic patenting," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    7. Waverly W. Ding, 2011. "The Impact of Founders' Professional-Education Background on the Adoption of Open Science by For-Profit Biotechnology Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(2), pages 257-273, February.
    8. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 409-433, March.

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