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The creation and diffusion of knowledge: Evidence from the Jet Age

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  • Pauly, Stefan
  • Stipanicic, Fernando

Abstract

This paper provides new causal evidence of the impact of improvements in air travel during the beginning of the Jet Age on the creation and diffusion of knowledge. We digitize airlines’ historical flight schedules and construct a novel data set of the flight network in the United States. Between 1951 and 1966, travel time between locations more than 2,000km apart decreased on average by 41%. The reduction in travel time explains 33% of the increase in knowledge diffusion as measured by patent citations. The increase in knowledge diffusion further caused an increase in the creation of new knowledge. The results provide evidence that jet airplanes led to innovation convergence across locations and contributed to the shift in innovation activity towards the South and the West of the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Pauly, Stefan & Stipanicic, Fernando, 2021. "The creation and diffusion of knowledge: Evidence from the Jet Age," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 2112, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:2112
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    2. Wu, Xiaokang & Yang, Jijun, 2023. "High-speed railway and patent trade in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    O31; O33; R41; N72;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • N72 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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