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Knowledge Transfers between Canadian Business Enterprises and Universities: Does Distance Matter?

  • Julio Rosa
  • Pierre Mohnen

This study examines whether the transfer of knowledge flows from universities to enterprises in Canada is hampered by the geographical distance that separates them. The transfer of knowledge flows are measured by the amount of R&D payments from business enterprises to universities that are directly reported in Statistics Canada's survey on Research and Development in Canadian Industry. We use data from the 1997 to 2001 surveys. After controlling for unobserved individual heterogeneity, selection bias as well as for other covariates that could affect the extent of industry-university R&D transactions such as absorptive capacity, foreign control, belonging to the same province, past experience with a given university and other firm and university characteristics, it is found that a 10% increase in distance decreases the proportion of total R&D paid to a university by 1.4 percent for enterprises that do not report any codified transfer of knowledge flow, and by half as much for enterprises that report codified knowledge flows. Cette étude vise à tester si le transfert de connaissance d'une université à une enterprise au Canada est affecté par la distance géographique qui les sépare. Les flux de transfert de connaissance sont mesurés par les montants de R-D payés par les entreprises aux universités, qui sont rapportés dans les enquêtes Recherche et développement dans l'industrie canadienne menées par Statistique Canada. Nous utilisons les enquêtes se rapportant aux années 1997 à 2001. Après avoir contrôlé pour l'hétérogénéité individuelle inobservable, le biais de sélection, et des facteurs observables qui peuvent influencer le montant de transactions de recherche entre universités et entreprises, tels que la capacité d'absorption des entreprises, l'appartenance à une même province, l'existence de transactions passées entre les partenaires, et d'autres caratéristiques propres aux entreprises et aux universités, nous trouvons que pour toute augmentation de 10 % de la distance qui sépare une université et une entreprise, le flux de transfert de connaissance se réduit de 1,4 % pour les entreprises qui ont des flux de transfert codifiés de connaissance et de 0,07 % pour celles qui n'ont que des flux de transfert tacites.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2008s-09.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2008s-09
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  1. Mohnen Pierre & Hoareau Cathy, 2002. "What type of enterprise forges close links with universities and government labs? Evidence from CIS2," Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  2. Charlie Karlsson & Martin Andersson, 2005. "Company R&D and University R&D - How Are They Related?," ERSA conference papers ersa05p305, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Myriam Mariani, 2002. "Next to Production or to Technological Clusters? The Economics and Management of R&D Location," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 131-152, May.
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  6. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff Armstrong, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Firm: The Technology of Geographically Localized Knowledge Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Keller, Wolfgang, 2001. "Geographic Localization of International Technology Diffusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
  9. Bottazzi, Laura & Peri, Giovanni, 2003. "Innovation and spillovers in regions: Evidence from European patent data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 687-710, August.
  10. Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
  11. Corinne Autant-Bernard, 2001. "The Geography Of Knowledge Spillovers And Technological Proximity," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 237-254.
  12. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2003. "R&D Cooperation Between Firms and Universities: Some Empirical Evidence from Belgian Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Mansfield, Edwin & Lee, Jeong-Yeon, 1996. "The modern university: contributor to industrial innovation and recipient of industrial R&D support," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1047-1058, October.
  14. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1996. "Company-Scientist Locational Links: The Case of Biotechnology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 641-52, June.
  15. Jarle Møen, 2000. "Is Mobility of Technical Personnel a Source of R&D Spillovers?," NBER Working Papers 7834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Carrincazeaux, Christophe & Lung, Yannick & Rallet, Alain, 2001. "Proximity and localisation of corporate R&D activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 777-789, May.
  17. Fontana, Roberto & Geuna, Aldo & Matt, Mireille, 2006. "Factors affecting university-industry R&D projects: The importance of searching, screening and signalling," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 309-323, March.
  18. Müge Ozman, 2006. "Networks and Innovation : A Survey of Empirical Literature," Working Papers of BETA 2006-07, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  19. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox Kean, 2004. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," Working Papers 0401, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  20. Manfred M. Fischer & Thomas Scherngell & Eva Jansenberger, 2005. "The Geography of Knowledge Spillovers between High-Technology Firms in Europe - Evidence from a Spatial Interaction Modelling Perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa05p5, European Regional Science Association.
  21. Peter Thompson & Melanie Fox-Kean, 2005. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: A Reassessment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 450-460, March.
  22. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
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