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Spatial Dynamics of Intercity Technology Transfer Networks in China’s Three Urban Agglomerations: A Patent Transaction Perspective

Chengliang Liu (), Caicheng Niu () and Ji Han ()
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Chengliang Liu: Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
Caicheng Niu: School of Urban and Regional Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Ji Han: Institute of Eco-Chongming, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-24

Abstract: Technology transfer has become a vital pipeline for acquiring external knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to portray the spatial dynamics of intercity technology transfer networks in China’s three urban agglomerations based on patent right transaction data from 2008 to 2015. The integration of social networks and spatial visualization is used to explore spatial networks and influencing variables of the networks. The results demonstrate that Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen are emerging as hubs in the three urban agglomerations. The spatial distributions of degree and weighted degree are significantly heterogeneous and hierarchical. The larger cities play the role of a knowledge and technology incubator, highly related to their economic scale, research and development (R&D) input, and innovation output. The evolution of intercity technology linkages is driven by the networking mechanisms of preferential attachment, hierarchical and contagious diffusion, path dependence, and path breaking. Moreover, we found that the geographical proximity and technology gaps are determinants of the strength of intercity technology linkages. As a result, it has been discovered that the network in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei agglomeration is organized in a tree network, while the Yangtze River Delta features a polycentric network and the Pearl River Delta has multi-star characteristics.

Keywords: technology transfer; patent transaction; spatial dynamics; urban agglomerations; social network analysis; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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