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Mobility, networks and innovation: The role of regions’ absorptive capacity

Ernest Miguelez and Rosina Moreno ()

No 201316, IREA Working Papers from University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which regions’ absorptive capacity determines knowledge flows’ impact on regional innovation intensity. In particular, it looks at the role of the cross-regional co-patenting and mobility of inventors in fostering innovation, and how regions with large absorptive capacity make the most of these two phenomena. The paper uses a panel of 274 regions over 8 years to estimate a regional knowledge production function with fixed-effects. Network and mobility variables, and interactions with regions’ absorptive capacity, are included among the r.h.s. variables to test the hypotheses. We find evidence of the role of both mobility and networks. However, inflows of inventors are critical for wealthier regions, while have more nuanced effects for less developed areas. It also shows that regions’ absorptive capacity critically adds an innovation premium to the benefits to tap into external knowledge pools. Indeed, the present study corroborates earlier work on the role of mobility and networks for spatial knowledge diffusion and subsequent innovation. However, it clearly illustrates that a certain level of technological development is critical to take advantage of these phenomena, and therefore “one-size-fits-all” innovation policies need to be reconsidered.

Keywords: absorptive capacity; inventor mobility; spatial networks; patents; regional innovation. JEL classification: (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2013-10, Revised 2013-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-cwa, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-ipr, nep-pr~, nep-knm, nep-net, nep-sbm and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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