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Nothing is in the air

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  • Fitjar, Rune Dahl
  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

Abstract

It has often been argued that ‘there is something in the air’ which makes firms in high-density environments – such as cities or clusters – more innovative. The co-location of firms facilitates the emergence of serendipity and casual encounters which promote innovation in firms. We assess this hypothesis using data from a survey of Norwegian firms engaged in innovation partnerships. The results indicate that there may be ‘much less in the air’ than is generally assumed in the literature. The relationships conducive to innovation by Norwegian firms emerged as a consequence of purpose-built searches and had little to do with chance, serendipity, or ‘being there’.

Suggested Citation

  • Fitjar, Rune Dahl & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2016. "Nothing is in the air," CEPR Discussion Papers 11067, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11067
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    Cited by:

    1. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Nathan, Max & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2016. "Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 177-194.
    2. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Franz Huber & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2016. "Not too close, not too far: testing the Goldilocks principle of ‘optimal’ distance in innovation networks," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(6), pages 465-487, August.
    3. Christian Longhi, 2017. "Cluster dynamics: learning from Competitiveness Cluster policy. The case of ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region," Working Papers halshs-01675684, HAL.
    4. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Martin Gjelsvik, 2017. "Why do firms collaborate with local universities?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1732, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Dec 2017.
    5. Wallin, Tina, 2017. "An empirical study of firms’ absorptive capacity and export diversification," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 452, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agglomeration; externalities; firms; innovation; Norway; spillovers; tacit knowledge;

    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

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