The Role of Transportation Speed in Facilitating High Skilled Teamwork

43 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2018

See all articles by Xiaofang Dong

Xiaofang Dong

Xiamen University - School of Economics

Siqi Zheng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

High skilled workers gain from face to face interactions. If the skilled can move at higher speeds, then knowledge diffusion and idea spillovers are likely to reach greater distances. This paper uses the construction of China’s high speed rail (HSR) network as a natural experiment to test this claim. HSR connects major cities, that feature the nation’s best universities, to secondary cities. Since bullet trains reduce cross-city commute times, they reduce the cost of face-to-face interactions between skilled workers who work in different cities. Using a data base listing research paper publication and citations, we document a complementarity effect between knowledge production and the transportation network. Co-authors’ productivity rises and more new co-author pairs emerge when secondary cities are connected by bullet train to China’s major cities.

Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.

Suggested Citation

Dong, Xiaofang and Zheng, Siqi and Kahn, Matthew E., The Role of Transportation Speed in Facilitating High Skilled Teamwork (April 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24539. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3167053

Xiaofang Dong (Contact Author)

Xiamen University - School of Economics ( email )

China

Siqi Zheng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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