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Mobility of inventors and the geography of knowledge spillovers. New evidence on US data

Author

Listed:
  • Stefano Breschi

    (CESPRI-Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

  • Francesco Lissoni

    (Brescia University and CESPRI-Bocconi University, Italy)

Abstract

In this paper we exploit new data on US inventors in Organic Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotechnology to revisit the JTH test of the localization of knowledge spillovers (Jaffe, Trajtenberg, and Henderson; 1993). We find that inventors who patent across different companies contribute extensively to the observed citation patterns, both directly (through personal self-citations) and indirectly, by linking the various companies via a social network conducive to more citations. To the extent that the geographical mobility of these “cross-firm” inventors is quite limited, the resulting social networks and citations patterns are found to be bounded in space. We conclude that spatial distance, as measured in the JTH experiment, is just a proxy for a much more important variable, such as social distance between inventors. In a similar vein, we show that technological distance, introduced by Thompson and Fox-Kean (2005) to question the soundness of the JTH experiment, is also a proxy of social distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2006. "Mobility of inventors and the geography of knowledge spillovers. New evidence on US data," KITeS Working Papers 184, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Oct 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp184
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papers/WP184BreschiLissoni.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
    2. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2004. "Knowledge networks from patent data: Methodological issues and research targets," KITeS Working Papers 150, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jan 2004.
    3. Jarle Moen, 2005. "Is Mobility of Technical Personnel a Source of R&D Spillovers?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 81-114, January.
    4. David C. Mowery & Arvids A. Ziedonis, 2001. "The Geographic Reach of Market and Non-Market Channels of Technology Transfer: Comparing Citations and Licenses of University Patents," NBER Working Papers 8568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bramoullé, Yann & Currarini, Sergio & Jackson, Matthew O. & Pin, Paolo & Rogers, Brian W., 2012. "Homophily and long-run integration in social networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1754-1786.
    2. Sam Tavassoli & Lars Bengtsson & Charlie Karlsson, 2017. "Strategic entrepreneurship and knowledge spillovers: spatial and aspatial perspectives," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 233-249, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Autant-Bernard, Corinne & Fadairo, Muriel & Massard, Nadine, 2013. "Knowledge diffusion and innovation policies within the European regions: Challenges based on recent empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 196-210.
    5. Boari, Cristina & Fioretti, Guido & Odorici, Vincenza, 2008. "Rivalry and Learning Among Clustered and Isolated Firms," MPRA Paper 13066, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ron Boschma & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Dieter Kogler, 2011. "A relational approach to knowledge spillovers in biotech. Network structures as drivers of inter-organizational citation patterns," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1120, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Dec 2011.
    7. Laura Abramovsky & Helen Simpson, 2011. "Geographic proximity and firm--university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(6), pages 949-977, November.
    8. Mikaela Backman & Charlie Karlsson, 2016. "Determinants of self-employment among commuters and non-commuters," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 755-774, November.
    9. Growe, Anna & Heider, Katharina & Lamker, Christian & Paßlick, Sandra & Terfrüchte, Thomas (ed.), 2012. "Polyzentrale Stadtregionen - Die Region als planerischer Handlungsraum: 14. Junges Forum der ARL, 22. bis 24. Juni 2011 in Dortmund," Arbeitsberichte der ARL, Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften, volume 3, number 3, May.
    10. Koen Frenken & Roderik Ponds & Frank van Oort, 2010. "The citation impact of research collaboration in science-based industries: A spatial-institutional analysis," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(2), pages 351-271, June.
    11. Meng, Rüdiger, 2012. "Räumliche Aspekte der Innovationsförderung: Hintergründe, Perspektiven und Kritik," Arbeitsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Polyzentrale Stadtregionen - Die Region als planerischer Handlungsraum, pages 241-254 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    12. Mohamed Belhaj & Frédéric Deroian, 2010. "Endogenous effort in communication networks under strategic complementarity," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 39(3), pages 391-408, July.
    13. Corinne Autant-Bernard, 2011. "Spatial econometrics of innovation: Recent contributions and research perspectives," Working Papers halshs-00605056, HAL.
    14. Bjerke, Lina & Johansson, Sara, 2014. "Innovation and firm collaboration: An exploration of survey data," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 383, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    15. Camilla Lenzi, 2010. "Workers’ mobility and patterns of knowledge diffusion: evidence from Italian data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(6), pages 651-670, December.
    16. Beaudry, Catherine & Schiffauerova, Andrea, 2009. "Who's right, Marshall or Jacobs? The localization versus urbanization debate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 318-337, March.
    17. Attila Varga & Andrea Parag, 2008. "Academic Knowledge Transfers and the Structure of International Research Networks," Working Papers 2008/2, University of Pécs, Department of Economics and Regional Studies, revised Mar 2008.
    18. Nunzia Carbonara & Ilaria Giannoccaro, 2011. "Interpreting the role of proximity on Industrial District competitiveness using a complexity science-based view and Systems Dynamics simulation," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 415-436, December.
    19. Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2010. "The Spatial Evolution of Innovation Networks: A Proximity Perspective," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    20. Cusmano, Lucia & Mancusi, Maria Luisa & Morrison, Andrea, 2009. "Innovation and the geographical and organisational dimensions of outsourcing: Evidence from Italian firm-level data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 183-195, September.
    21. Schön, Benjamin & Pyka, Andreas, 2012. "A taxonomy of innovation networks," FZID Discussion Papers 42-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge diffusion; Localized spillovers; Social networks;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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