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Are organizational and economic proximity driving factors of scientific collaboration? Evidence from Spanish universities, 2001–2010

Ana Fernández, Esther Ferrándiz () and M. Dolores León
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Ana Fernández: Universidad de Cádiz
Esther Ferrándiz: Universidad de Cádiz
M. Dolores León: Universidad de Cádiz

Scientometrics, 2021, vol. 126, issue 1, No 26, 579-602

Abstract: Abstract This paper aims to explore the effects that organizational and economic proximity have on scientific collaboration (SC) among Spanish universities, which are institutions in a peripheral country to EU-15. The methodology to address our research relies on data from a set of co-authored articles indexed in the Science Citation Index provided by Web of Science and published between 2001 and 2010 by 903 pairs of collaborating universities. This paper contributes to the existing literature in several ways. First, we aim to study how Spanish academic SC evolved in the period 2001–2010 in order to identify which universities were more prone to collaborate. Second, we analyse how collaboration across distance has evolved over time, considering two periods: 2001–2005 and 2006–2010. Finally, we put forward an econometric model to analyse how geographical, cognitive, institutional, social, organizational and economic proximity affect SC. Among other results, we find that differences in the size of the collaborating universities are not relevant to explaining academic SC, while disparities in ages and international vocation affect SC. With regard to economic proximity, differences in GDP are not relevant, while differences in financial funding suggest a stronger rate of collaboration among universities with different levels of funding. Building on our results, we provide some policy implications.

Keywords: Scientific collaborations; Organizational proximity; Economic proximity; Proximity dimensions; Gravity equation; 62P20; 62J02; 97K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 O33 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03748-3

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