Understanding the Inputs into Innovation: Do Cities Substitute for Internal Firm Resources?

22 Pages Posted: 6 May 2008

See all articles by Chris Forman

Chris Forman

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Abstract

We examine whether there is a trade-off between employing internal (firm) resources and purchased external (local) resources in process innovation. We draw on a rich dataset of Internet investments by 86,879 US establishments to examine decisions to invest in advanced Internet technology. We show that the marginal contribution of internal resources is greater outside of a major urban area than inside one. Agglomeration is less important for firms with highly capable IT workers. When firms invest in innovative processes they act as if resources available in cities are partial substitutes for both establishment-level and firm-level internal resources.

Suggested Citation

Forman, Chris and Goldfarb, Avi and Greenstein, Shane M., Understanding the Inputs into Innovation: Do Cities Substitute for Internal Firm Resources?. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 17, Issue 2, pp. 295-316, Summer 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9134.2008.00179.x

Chris Forman (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

Avi Goldfarb

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
416-946-8604 (Phone)
416-978-5433 (Fax)

Shane M. Greenstein

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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