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Borders and Distance in Knowledge Spillovers: Dying over Time or Dying with Age? - Evidence from Patent Citations

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  • Yao Li

Abstract

This paper uses a gravity framework to investigate the effects of distance as well as subnational and national borders in knowledge spillovers. Drawing on the NBER Patent Citations Database, we examine patent citations data at metropolitan level within the U.S. and the 38 largest patent-cited countries outside the U.S. We present 3 key findings: First, we find strong subnational localization effects at the Metropolitan Statistical Area and state levels: more than 90% of intranational border effects stem from the metropolitan level rather than state. Second, border and distance effects decrease with the age of cited patent, which implies that new knowledge faces the largest barriers to diffusion. However, over time, border and distance effects are interestingly increasing. Finally, we find that (assignee) self-citations and aggregation bias are two sources of overestimated aggregate border effects of knowledge spillovers. While self-citations are only 11% of total citations, they account for approximately 50% of MSA and national border effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Yao Li, 2009. "Borders and Distance in Knowledge Spillovers: Dying over Time or Dying with Age? - Evidence from Patent Citations," CESifo Working Paper Series 2625, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2625
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    1. Nivedita Mukherji & Jonathan Silberman, 2013. "Absorptive Capacity, Knowledge Flows, And Innovation In U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 392-417, August.
    2. Kuan, Chung-Huei & Chen, Dar-Zen & Huang, Mu-Hsuan, 2020. "The overlooked citations: Investigating the impact of ignoring citations to published patent applications," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1).
    3. Florian Seliger, 2016. "What determines international and inter-sectoral knowledge flows? The impact of absorptive capacity, technological distance and spillovers," KOF Working papers 16-415, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. George Messinis, 2011. "Triadic citations, country biases and patent value: the case of pharmaceuticals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 89(3), pages 813-833, December.
    5. Keith Head & Yao Amber Li & Asier Minondo, 2019. "Geography, Ties, and Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Citations in Mathematics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 713-727, October.
    6. Conti, C. & Mancusi, M.L. & Sanna-Randaccio, F. & Sestini, R. & Verdolini, E., 2018. "Transition towards a green economy in Europe: Innovation and knowledge integration in the renewable energy sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1996-2009.
    7. Spyros Arvanitis & Florian Seliger & Martin Wörter, 2016. "Knowledge Spillovers and their Impact on Innovation Success - A New Approach Using Patent Backward Citations," KOF Working papers 16-414, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    8. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Rodriguez-Pose, Andres, 2012. "R&D, Socio-Economic Conditions and Regional Innovation in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 9265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "R&D, Socio-Economic Conditions, and Regional Innovation in the U.S," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-320, June.
    10. Luigi Aldieri & Concetto Paolo Vinci, 2016. "Technological Spillovers Through A Patent Citation Analysis," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(02), pages 1-23, February.
    11. Kuan, Chung-Huei & Huang, Mu-Hsuan & Chen, Dar-Zen, 2018. "Missing links: Timing characteristics and their implications for capturing contemporaneous technological developments," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 259-270.
    12. Georg von Graevenitz & Stuart J. H. Graham & Amanda Myers, 2019. "Distance (Still) Hampers Diffusion of Innovations," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2019-05, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    13. Nivedita Mukherji & Jonathan Silberman, 2021. "Knowledge flows between universities and industry: the impact of distance, technological compatibility, and the ability to diffuse knowledge," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 223-257, February.
    14. Chen, Guanghua & Yang, Guoliang & He, Feng & Chen, Kaihua, 2019. "Exploring the effect of political borders on university-industry collaborative research performance: Evidence from China’s Guangdong province," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 82, pages 58-69.
    15. Azagra-Caro,Joaquín M. & Barberá-Tomás,David & Edwards-Schachter,Mónica, 2015. "The impact of one of the most highly cited university patents: formalisation and localization," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201502, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), revised 03 Jan 2017.
    16. Georg von Graevenitz & Stuart J. H. Graham & Amanda Myers, 2019. "Distance (Still) Hampers Diffusion of Innovations," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2019-05R, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge spillovers; gravity; border effect; distance; patent citations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F29 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Other
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • 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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