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Mobility and Social Networks: Localised Knowledge Spillovers Revisited

The paper provides a reassessment of arguments and tests in support of the existence and magnitude of localized knowledge spillovers proposed by Jaffe, Trajtenberg and Henderson (1993). We use information in patents to control for the mobility of inventors across companies and space, as well as for the network ties that such mobility helps establishing. Our results indicate that localisation effects tend to vanish where citing and cited patents are not linked to each other by any network relationship. On the contrary, knowledge flows, as evidenced by patent citations, are strongly localized to the extent that labour mobility and network ties also are. We interpret these results as evidence that geography is not a sufficient condition for accessing a local pool of knowledge, but it requires active participation in a network of knowledge exchanges. Moreover, hiring workers from competitors and other firms seems to be a key means to access such a network.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papers/WP142LissoniBreschi.pdf
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Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 142.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision: Mar 2003
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp142
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  1. Paul Krugman, 1992. "Geography and Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610868, June.
  2. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  3. Jaffe, Adam B, 1988. "Demand and Supply Influences in R&D Intensity and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 431-37, August.
  4. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  5. Griliches, Zvi, 1992. " The Search for R&D Spillovers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S29-47, Supplemen.
  6. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1992. "Real Effects of Academic Research: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 363-67, March.
  7. 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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