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The Spatial Diffusion of a Knowledge Base-Laser Technology Research in West Germany, 1960-2005

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  • Michael Fritsch

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Luis F. Medrano

    () (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

We analyze the spatial diffusion of knowledge in laser technology in West Germany from 1960, when this technology began, until 2005. Laser technology research has been nearly exclusively conducted in regions that are home to a university with a physics or electrical engineering department, an indication of the science-based character of the technology. Early adoption of laser knowledge was especially prevalent in large agglomerations. While we cannot detect knowledge spillovers from adjacent regions, geographic proximity to the center of initial laser research was conducive to early adoption of laser research; however, the effect is small. The earlier a region embarked on this type of research, the higher the level of laser research later, indicating the accumulation of knowledge generated in previous periods. Our results highlight the role of a region's absorptive capacity for commencing and conducting research in a new technological field. In the case of laser technology, it was more the level of existing tacit knowledge than an interregional transfer of tacit knowledge that played an important role.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Luis F. Medrano, 2010. "The Spatial Diffusion of a Knowledge Base-Laser Technology Research in West Germany, 1960-2005," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-048, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-048
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guido Buenstorf, 2007. "Evolution on the Shoulders of Giants: Entrepreneurship and Firm Survival in the German Laser Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 30(3), pages 179-202, May.
    2. Joseph Hilbe, 1994. "Negative binomial regression," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(18).
    3. Ron A. Boschma & Rik Wenting, 2004. "The spatial evolution of the British automobile industry," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0504, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2004.
    4. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kudic, Muhamed & Pyka, Andreas & Sunder, Marco, 2013. "Network Formation: R&D Cooperation Propensity and Timing Among German Laser Source Manufacturers," IWH Discussion Papers 9/2013, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin & Buenstorf, Guido, 2016. "Regional co-evolution of firm population, innovation and public research? Evidence from the West German laser industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 857-868.
    3. Kudic, Muhamed & Pyka, Andreas & Günther, Jutta, 2012. "Determinants of Evolutionary Change Processes in Innovation Networks – Empirical Evidence from the German Laser Industry," IWH Discussion Papers 7/2012, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Kudic, Muhamed & Guhr, Katja, 2013. "Cooperation Events, Ego-Network Characteristics and Firm Innovativeness – Empirical Evidence from the German Laser Industry," IWH Discussion Papers 6/2013, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Kudic, Muhamed & Ehrenfeld, Wilfried & Pusch, Toralf, 2015. "Isolation and Innovation – Two Contradictory Concepts? Explorative Findings from the German Laser Industry," IWH Discussion Papers 1/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    6. Luis F. Medrano E., 2012. "Patent Citations, University Inventor Patents, and Survival in the German Laser Source Industry (1960-2005)," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; regional innovation systems; knowledge; spatial diffusion; laser technology;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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