The Geography of Unconventional Innovation
Ruben Gaetani and
Enrico Berkes ()
No 896, 2015 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics
Using a newly assembled dataset of narrowly georeferenced patents, we document that innovation activity is not as concentrated in densely populated areas as commonly believed: suburban regions are responsible for a substantial share of the innovation produced. Nevertheless, high-density areas disproportionately generate innovation of unconventional nature. We provide causal evidence for a mechanism that can generate this pattern: unconventional ideas are more likely to emerge when people interact in a dense and technologically diverse environment. An endogenous growth model with heterogeneous innovation and spatial sorting reveals that optimal place-based policy in the U.S. would foster urbanization to promote unconventional ideas, at the cost of sacrificing growth and inducing higher congestion.
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More papers in 2015 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA. Contact information at EDIRC.
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