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Agglomeration and the Spatial Distribution of Creativity

  • 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)

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.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 42.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 18 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0042
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CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
Web page: http://www.infra.kth.se/cesis/

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  1. Roland Andersson, 2005. "The efficiency of Swedish regional policy," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 39(4), pages 811-832, December.
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    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Andersson, Roland & Quigley, John M. & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2004. "University Decentralization as Regional Policy: The Swedish Experiment," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt81n6b8fb, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
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  18. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
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