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My Precious! The Location and Diffusion of Scientific Research: Evidence from the Synchrotron Diamond Light Source

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  • Christian Helmers
  • Henry Overman

Abstract

We analyze the impact of the establishment of a GBP 380 million basic scientific research facility in the UK on the geographical distribution of related research. We investigate whether the siting of the Diamond Light Source, a 3rd generation synchrotron light source, in Oxfordshire induced a clustering of related research in its geographic proximity. To account for the potentially endogenous location choice of the synchrotron, we exploit the availability of a `runner-up' site near Manchester. We use both academic publications and patent data to trace the geographical distribution of related knowledge and innovation. Our results suggest that the siting of the synchrotron in Oxfordshire created a highly localized cluster of related scientific research.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Helmers & Henry Overman, 2013. "My Precious! The Location and Diffusion of Scientific Research: Evidence from the Synchrotron Diamond Light Source," SERC Discussion Papers 0131, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 536-598, June.
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    3. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2005. "Transport costs: measures, determinants, and regional policy implications for France," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 319-349, June.
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    5. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    6. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 465-466, March.
    7. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Neumark, David & Simpson, Helen, 2015. "Place-Based Policies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers, 2015. "The impact of university research on corporate patenting: evidence from UK universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Synchrotron; location; innovation; patents;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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