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

56 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2023

See all articles by Georgios Tsiachtsiras

Georgios Tsiachtsiras

University of Bristol; University of Bath - School of Management

Deyun Yin

Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen

Ernest Miguelez

University of Bordeaux

Rosina Moreno

University of Barcelona

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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 using courier’s stations during the Ming dynasty as instrument, we find solid evidence that the opening of an HSR station increases cities’ innovation activity. We compute least-cost paths between city-pairs, over time, and report that an increase in a city’s connectivity to other cities specialized in a specific technological field 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

Suggested Citation

Tsiachtsiras, Georgios and Yin, Deyun and Miguelez, Ernest and Moreno, Rosina, Trains of Thought: High-Speed Rail and Innovation in China. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4331236 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4331236

Georgios Tsiachtsiras

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 (Contact Author)

Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen ( email )

University Town
Nand District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

Ernest Miguelez

University of Bordeaux ( email )

Avenue Léon Duguit
Bordeaux, 33000
France

Rosina Moreno

University of Barcelona

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