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"Cross-firm" Inventors and Social Networks: Localized Knowledge Spillovers Revisited

In: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches

Author

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  • Stefano Breschi
  • Francesco Lissoni

Abstract

The paper explores the role of inventors' mobility and social networks in generating localized knowledge flows. Using a sample of Italian inventors, we replicate Jaffe's, Trajtenberg's, and Henderson's [1993] test on patent citations and find similar results. We then control for the role of "cross-firm inventors" (inventors who move across, or do research for different companies), who generate personal self-citations and help creating social links across companies by entering various teams of inventors, which in turn will cite each others' patents. When controlling for personal self-citations, no localization of knowledge flows remains to be seen at the city or province level. What remains of localization effects at the regional level diminishes sensibly after controlling also for the social ties between inventors from cited, citing, and control patents. Knowledge flows thus appear to be localized to the extent that cross-firm activity of inventors and the resulting social networks are also localized. The weight of personal self-citations suggests that frequent interpretations of localized knowledge flows as spillovers, that is externalities, may be misplaced.
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Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2010. ""Cross-firm" Inventors and Social Networks: Localized Knowledge Spillovers Revisited," NBER Chapters, in: Contributions in Memory of Zvi Griliches, pages 189-209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12233
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergé, Laurent & Carayol, Nicolas & Roux, Pascale, 2018. "How do inventor networks affect urban invention?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 137-162.
    2. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Ding Ding & Per Thulin, 2018. "The knowledge spillover theory of intrapreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-30, June.
    3. Neffke, Frank M.H. & Otto, Anne & Weyh, Antje, 2017. "Inter-industry labor flows," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 275-292.
    4. Philippe Lefebvre, 2017. "Les Stratégies Régionales d’Innovation de « spécialisation intelligente » en Europe (Smart Specialization Strategies) : Dynamiques territoriales endogènes et institutions exogènes," Working Papers hal-01494814, HAL.
    5. Cassi, Lorenzo & Plunket, Anne, 2010. "The determinants of co-inventor tie formation: proximity and network dynamics," MPRA Paper 27303, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bruna P. F. Fonseca & Elton Fernandes & Marcus V. A. Fonseca, 2017. "Collaboration in science and technology organizations of the public sector: A network perspective," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 37-49.
    7. Wang, Jue & Zhang, Liwei, 2018. "Proximal advantage in knowledge diffusion: The time dimension," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 858-867.
    8. Camilla Lenzi, 2010. "Workers’ mobility and patterns of knowledge diffusion: evidence from Italian data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(6), pages 651-670, December.
    9. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2019. "Immigrant Networking and Collaboration: Survey Evidence from CIC," NBER Chapters, in: The Roles of Immigrants and Foreign Students in US Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, pages 173-205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mario A. Maggioni & Mario Nosvelli & T. Erika Uberti, 2006. "Space Vs. Networks in the Geography of Innovation: A European Analysis," Working Papers 2006.153, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Marco-Lajara, Bartolomé & Zaragoza-Sáez, Patrocinio del Carmen & Claver-Cortés, Enrique & Úbeda-García, Mercedes & García-Lillo, Francisco, 2017. "Tourist districts and internationalization of hotel firms," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 451-464.
    12. Marino, Alba & Mudambi, Ram & Perri, Alessandra & Scalera, Vittoria G., 2020. "Ties that bind: Ethnic inventors in multinational enterprises’ knowledge integration and exploitation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    13. Bergé, Laurent & Carayol, Nicolas & Roux, Pascale, 2018. "How do inventor networks affect urban invention?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 137-162.
    14. Braunerhjelm, Pontus & Ding, Ding & Thulin, Per, 2020. "Labour market mobility, knowledge diffusion and innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).

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