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International networks of knowledge flows: an econometric analysis

Author

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  • Mario A. Maggioni
  • T. Erika Uberti

Abstract

In this paper we address the manifold nature of knowledge through the analysis of four distinct but complementary phenomena (Internet hyperlinks, European research networks, EPO co-patent applications, Erasmus students mobility) that characterize knowledge as an intrinsic relational structure (directly) connecting people, institutions and (indirectly) regions across five European countries. We study the structure (in terms of density, clustering and centralisation) of these networks through network analysis techniques and test the influence of geographical distance as opposed to sectoral (based on the industrial distribution of the innovative activity) and functional (based on the value of the RSII European technological leadership index) distances in shaping the strength of knowledge relations though a gravitational model. The empirical analysis shows the existence of a polarized centre-periphery hierarchy of European regions that is reflected in the structure of knowledge flows. By using a "gravitational" model we demonstrate that, far from the claim of the "death of distance", geographic distance is still relevant for determining the structure of inter-regional knowledge flows. Functional and sectoral distances play also a crucial role suggesting that knowledge flows easily between similar (according to their scientific, technological and sectoral characteristics) regions. If the EU intends to build a "truly European" Research Area in which the networking of "centres of excellence" acts as "catalysts for backward areas" this target may still be far away.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario A. Maggioni & T. Erika Uberti, 2006. "International networks of knowledge flows: an econometric analysis," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-19, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2005-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mario A. Maggioni & Mario Nosvelli & T. Erika Uberti, 2006. "Space Vs. Networks in the Geography of Innovation: A European Analysis," Working Papers 2006.153, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Christ, Julian P., 2009. "The geography and co-location of European technology-specific co-inventorship networks," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 31/2010, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
    3. Frenken, Koen & Hardeman, Sjoerd & Hoekman, Jarno, 2009. "Spatial scientometrics: Towards a cumulative research program," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 222-232.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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