Network Formation and Geography : Modelling Approaches, Underlying Conceptions, Recent and Promising Extensions
Due to the strong polarisation of economic activities in space and rise in collaborative behaviour, increasing attention has recently been devoted to the relationship between geography and network formation. The studies conducted on this topic reveal a high variation in terms of methodologies. Putting special emphasis on R&D networks, the aim of this chapter is to review the different methods and assess their ability to address the issues raised by the relationship between network and space. We first discuss the different facets of the relationship between geography and networks. Then, we detail the methodological approaches and their capability to test each effect of geography on network formation. We argue that the effect of distance on dyads have received the major attention so far, but the development of block modelling and top-down approaches opens new research perspectives on how distance or location might affect formation of more complex structures. Moreover, recent improvement in temporal models also offers opportunities to better separate spatial effects from that of influence over time.
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