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Spreading the Word: Geography, Policy and Knowledge Spillovers

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  • Sharon Belenzon
  • Mark Schankerman

Abstract

Using new data on citations to university patents and scientific publications, we study how geography affects university knowledge spillovers. Citations to patents decline sharply with distance up to about 150 miles and are strongly constrained by state borders. Distance also constrains citations to scientific publications, but the impact is less sharp and persists over greater distances. The state border effect for publications is significant only for lower quality public universities. We show that the state border effect is heterogeneous, and is strongly influenced by university and state characteristics and policies. It is larger for public universities and those with strong local development policies. The border effect is larger in states with strong non-compete laws that facilitate intrastate labor mobility, states with greater reliance on in-state educated scientists and engineers, and states with lower rates of interstate scientific labor mobility. We also confirm the impact of non-compete statutes by studying a policy reform in Michigan.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharon Belenzon & Mark Schankerman, 2010. "Spreading the Word: Geography, Policy and Knowledge Spillovers," CEP Discussion Papers dp1005, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1005
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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge spillovers; diffusion; geography; university technology transfer; patents; scientific publications;

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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