The Agglomeration of R&D Labs
Posted: 27 Sep 2011 Last revised: 26 Apr 2015
Date Written: September 1, 2011
The authors study the location and productivity of more than 1,000 research and development (R&D) labs located in the Northeast corridor of the U.S. Using a variety of spatial econometric techniques, they find that these labs are substantially more concentrated in space than the underlying distribution of manufacturing activity. Ripley's K-function tests over a variety of spatial scales reveal that the strongest evidence of concentration occurs at two discrete distances: one at about one-quarter of a mile and another at about 40 miles. These findings are consistent with empirical research that suggests that some spillovers depreciate very rapidly with distance, while others operate at the spatial scale of labor markets. The authors also find that R&D labs in some industries (e.g., chemicals, including drugs) are substantially more spatially concentrated than are R&D labs as a whole.
Note: This paper has been superseded by WP 15-03.
Keywords: agglomeration economies, knowledge spillovers, geographic concentration, innovation, R&D
JEL Classification: O31, R11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation