Trains of Thought: High-Speed Rail and Innovation in China

57 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2022

See all articles by Georgios Tsiachtsiras

Georgios Tsiachtsiras

University of Bristol; University of Bath - School of Management

Deyun Yin

Harbin Institute of Technology

Ernest Miguelez

University of Bordeaux

Rosina Moreno

University of Barcelona

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 18, 2022

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of the High Speed Rail (HSR) network expansion on local innovation in China during the period 2008-2016. Using exogenous variation arising from a novel instrument - courier’s stations during the Ming dynasty, we find solid evidence that the opening of a HSR station increases cities’ innovation activity. We also explore the role of inter-city technology diffusion as being behind the surge of local innovation. To do it, we compute least-cost paths between city-pairs, over time, based on the opening and speed of each HSR line, and obtain that an increase in a city’s connectivity to other cities specialized in a specific technological field, through the HSR network, increases the probability for the city to specialize in that same technological field. We interpret it as evidence of knowledge diffusion.

Keywords: high speed rail, innovation, technology diffusion, patents, specialization

JEL Classification: R40, O18, O30, O33

Suggested Citation

Tsiachtsiras, Georgios and Yin, Deyun and Miguelez, Ernest and Moreno, Rosina, Trains of Thought: High-Speed Rail and Innovation in China (November 18, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4280769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4280769

Georgios Tsiachtsiras (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, Avon BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

University of Bath - School of Management ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

Deyun Yin

Harbin Institute of Technology

Ernest Miguelez

University of Bordeaux ( email )

Avenue Léon Duguit
Bordeaux, 33000
France

Rosina Moreno

University of Barcelona

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