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Agglomeration and the Spatial Distribution of Creativity

  • Andersson, Roland
  • Quigley, John M.
  • Wilhelmsson, Mats

This article analyses the spatial distribution of "creativity" - the production of new knowledge. We analyse commercial patents granted in Sweden between 1994 and 2001 using a panel of 100 labour market areas that encompass the entire country. We relate patent activity to measures of localisation and urbanisation, to the industrial composition and size distribution of firms, and to the regional distribution of human capital. Our analysis confirms the importance of human capital and research facilities in stimulating regional patent output. Our results document the importance of agglomeration and spatial factors in influencing creativity: patent activity is increased in larger and more dense labour markets and in regions in which a larger fraction of the labour force is employed in medium-sized firms. Our results also indicate that creativity is greater in labour markets with more diverse employment bases and in those which contain a larger share of national employment in certain industries, thus confirming the importance of urbanisation and localisation economies in stimulating creativity. Our quantitative results suggest that the urbanisation of Sweden during the 1990s had an important effect upon the aggregate level of patent activity in the country, leading to increases of up to 15 percent in aggregate patents.

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Paper provided by Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy in its series Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series with number qt1wd73461.

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Date of creation: 02 Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:bphupl:qt1wd73461
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  1. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  2. Paul Krugman, 1998. "Space: The Final Frontier," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 161-174, Spring.
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  5. Andersson, Roland & Quigley, John M. & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2004. "University Decentralization as Regional Policy: The Swedish Experiment," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt81n6b8fb, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  6. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 1999. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 14, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
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  18. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Patents, Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026260065x, June.
  19. Manfred M. Fischer & Attila Varga, 2003. "Spatial knowledge spillovers and university research: Evidence from Austria," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 303-322, 05.
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