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The Effects of R&D on Regional Invention and Innovation




This paper examines the effects of regional R&D on patenting for Sweden within an accessibility framework. We use two measures of patenting: number of patents granted per capita and a composite of quality-adjusted patents which we regard as an innovation indicator, respectively. Three conclusions emerge. First, we find that the specification where innovations per capita is used as a dependent variable performs much better than with granted patents per capita for capturing relationships with regional R&D. In fact, quantile regressions over the distribution of different patenting and innovation levels per capita show that R&D efforts within regions affect innovations per capita positively, except for the regions with the lowest levels of R&D. The effects on granted patents per capita are less robust and depend inconsistently on the level of R&D. Secondly, accessibility to inter-regional R&D do not affect innovation significantly in our results, which suggests that effects are locally bounded. This implies that studies of the R&D-innovation relationship are plagued by misspecification, since studies tend to show that R&D-effects diffuse to other regions. This is also the case in our study; the inter-regional effects are an important factor for granted patents. Third, the share of university R&D of all regional R&D has no effect on patenting, which suggests that the two types of R&D are substitutes. In view of these results the recommendation must be to use quality-adjusted patents for regional innovation studies rather than patent grants.

Suggested Citation

  • Ejermo, Olof & Gråsjö, Urban, 2008. "The Effects of R&D on Regional Invention and Innovation," Papers in Innovation Studies 2008/3, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2008_003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bengt-Åke Lundvall, 2007. "National Innovation Systems—Analytical Concept and Development Tool," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 95-119.
    2. Kander, Astrid & Enflo, Kerstin & Schön, Lennart, 2007. "In Defense of Electricity as a General Purpose Technology," Papers in Innovation Studies 2007/6, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    3. Todtling, Franz & Trippl, Michaela, 2005. "One size fits all?: Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1203-1219, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro L. Ghinamo, 2012. "Explaining The Variation In The Empirical Estimates Of Academic Knowledge Spillovers," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 606-634, October.

    More about this item


    R&D; patenting; innovations; regions; spatial dependence.;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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