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Agglomeration and the Spatial Distribution of Creativity

Author

Listed:
  • Andersson, Roland

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

  • Quigley, John. M

    () (University of California Berkeley)

  • Wilhelmsson, Mats

    () (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the spatial distribution of “creativity” -- the production of new knowledge. We analyze commercial patents granted in Sweden during 1994-2001 using a panel of one hundred labor market areas which encompass the entire country. We relate patent activity to measures of localization and urbanization, to the industrial composition and size distribution of firms, and to the regional distribution of human capital. Our analysis confirms the importance of human capital and research facilities in stimulating regional patent output. Importantly, our results document the importance of agglomeration and spatial factors in influencing creativity: Patent activity is increased in larger and more dense labor markets and in regions in which a larger fraction of the labor force is employed in medium-sized firms. Our results also indicate that creativity is greater in labor markets with more diverse employment bases and in those which contain a larger share of national employment in certain industries, confirming the importance of urbanization and localization economies in stimulating creativity. Our quantitative results suggest that the urbanization of Sweden during the 1990s had an important effect upon the aggregate level of patent activity in the country, leading to increases of up to five percent in aggregate patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson, Roland & Quigley, John. M & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2005. "Agglomeration and the Spatial Distribution of Creativity," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 42, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0042
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Agglomeration; patent; spatial distribution; creativity;

    JEL classification:

    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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