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The Role of Transportation Speed in Facilitating High Skilled Teamwork

Author

Listed:
  • Xiaofang Dong
  • Siqi Zheng
  • Matthew E. Kahn

Abstract

High skilled workers gain from face to face interactions. If the skilled can move at higher speeds, then knowledge diffusion and idea spillovers are likely to reach greater distances. This paper uses the construction of China’s high speed rail (HSR) network as a natural experiment to test this claim. HSR connects major cities, that feature the nation’s best universities, to secondary cities. Since bullet trains reduce cross-city commute times, they reduce the cost of face-to-face interactions between skilled workers who work in different cities. Using a data base listing research paper publication and citations, we document a complementarity effect between knowledge production and the transportation network. Co-authors’ productivity rises and more new co-author pairs emerge when secondary cities are connected by bullet train to China’s major cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaofang Dong & Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2018. "The Role of Transportation Speed in Facilitating High Skilled Teamwork," NBER Working Papers 24539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24539
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Fangni & Yang, Zhiwei & Jiao, Jingjuan & Liu, Wei & Wu, Wenjie, 2020. "The effects of high-speed rail development on regional equity in China," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 180-202.
    2. Han, Bing & Han, Lu & Zhou, Zhengyi, 2020. "Housing Market and Entrepreneurship: Micro Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 102597, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Aug 2020.
    3. Bottasso, Anna & Conti, Maurizio & Robbiano, Simone & Santagata, Marta, 2020. "Roads to innovation: evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 104735, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Qunyang Du & Hangdong Yu & Cheng Yan & Tianle Yang, 2020. "Does High-Speed Rail Network Access Enhance Cities’ Innovation Performance?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(19), pages 1-13, October.
    5. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 2020. "How Close Is Close? The Spatial Reach of Agglomeration Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 27-49, Summer.
    6. Adam Ploszaj & Xiaoran Yan & Katy Borner, 2018. "The impact of air transport availability on research collaboration: A case study of four universities," Papers 1811.02106, arXiv.org.
    7. Gao, Yanyan & Zheng, Jianghuai, 2020. "The impact of high-speed rail on innovation: An empirical test of the companion innovation hypothesis of transportation improvement with China’s manufacturing firms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    8. Dong, Xiaofang, 2018. "High-speed railway and urban sectoral employment in China," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 603-621.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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