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Geographic clustering and network evolution of innovative activities: Evidence from China’s patents


  • Martha Prevezer
  • Pietro Panzarasa
  • Tore Opsahl


This study examines the spatial distribution and social structure of processes of learning and knowledge creation within the context of the inventor network connecting Chinese patent teams. Results uncover mixed tendencies toward both geographic co-location and dispersion arising from combined processes of intra-cluster learning and extra-cluster networking. These processes unfold within a social network that becomes less fragmented over time: as a giant component emerges and increases in size, social distances among inventors become longer. The interplay between geographic and network proximity is assessed against China’s institutional environment. Implications of the findings are discussed for regional development and policy-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Martha Prevezer & Pietro Panzarasa & Tore Opsahl, 2010. "Geographic clustering and network evolution of innovative activities: Evidence from China’s patents," Working Papers 32, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:32

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    clusters; knowledge transfer; social networks; patenting;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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