The Evolution of Networks of Innovators Within and Across Borders: Evidence from Patent Data

Research Policy Volume 44, Issue 3, April 2015, Pages 651-668

Posted: 24 Sep 2015

See all articles by Andrea Morescalchi

Andrea Morescalchi

Independent

Fabio Pammolli

Polytechnic University of Milan - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering; CERM Foundation

Massimo Riccaboni

Independent

Orion B. Penner

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Alexander Michael Petersen

University of California Merced, Ernest and Julio Gallo Management Program

Date Written: June 24, 2013

Abstract

Recent studies on the geography of knowledge networks have documented a negative impact of physical distance and institutional borders upon research and development (R&D) collaborations. Though it is widely recognized that geographic constraints and national borders impede the diffusion of knowledge, less attention has been devoted to the temporal evolution of these constraints. In this study we use data on patents filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) for OECD countries to analyze the impact of physical distance and country borders on inter-regional links in four different networks over the period 1988-2009: (1) co-inventorship, (2) patent citations, (3) inventor mobility and (4) the location of R&D laboratories. We find the constraint imposed by country borders and distance decreased until mid-1990s then started to grow, particularly for distance. The intensity of European cross-country inventor collaborations increased at a higher pace than their non-European counterparts until 2004, with no significant relative progress thereafter. For geographical networks of mobility, R&D activities and patent citations we cannot detect any substantial progress in European research integration above and beyond the common global trend.

Keywords: Geography of knowledge, Networks of innovators, European integration, Spatial proximity, Cross-border collaboration Gravity model

Suggested Citation

Morescalchi, Andrea and Pammolli, Fabio and Riccaboni, Massimo and Penner, Orion B. and Petersen, Alexander Michael, The Evolution of Networks of Innovators Within and Across Borders: Evidence from Patent Data (June 24, 2013). Research Policy Volume 44, Issue 3, April 2015, Pages 651-668, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664172

Andrea Morescalchi

Independent ( email )

Fabio Pammolli (Contact Author)

Polytechnic University of Milan - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering ( email )

Via Lambruschini 4C - building 26/A
Milano, 20156
Italy

CERM Foundation ( email )

Via Fiorentina, 1
Siena, Siena 53100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.cermlab.it

Massimo Riccaboni

Independent ( email )

Orion B. Penner

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Alexander Michael Petersen

University of California Merced, Ernest and Julio Gallo Management Program ( email )

School of Engineering
Science & Engineering 2, Suite 315
Merced, CA 95343
United States

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