Technological and Geographical Knowledge Spillover in the German Empire 1877-1918

27 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Jochen Streb

Jochen Streb

University of Mannheim

Jörg Baten

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Shuxi Yin

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics

Abstract

We use a newly developed data set of 39,343 high-value patents granted between 1877 and 1918 to demonstrate that technological progress during German industrialization occurred in at least four different technological waves. We distinguish the railway wave (1877-86), the dye wave (1887-96), the chemical wave (1897-1902), and the wave of electrical engineering (1903-18). Evidence is presented that inter-industry knowledge spillovers between technologically, economically, and geographically related industries were a major source for innovative activities during German industrialization. We also show that technological change affected the geographical distribution of innovative regions. Using an index of technologically revealed comparative advantage we find that regions that increased their innovativeness during the waves of technological progress revealed special strength in technological clusters like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or chemicals.

Suggested Citation

Streb, Jochen and Baten, Jorg and Yin, Shuxi, Technological and Geographical Knowledge Spillover in the German Empire 1877-1918. Economic History Review, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 347-373, May 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=895369 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2006.00347.x

Jochen Streb (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim ( email )

L7, 3-5
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Jorg Baten

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074
Germany
+49 7071 2972985 (Phone)
+49 7071 295119 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Shuxi Yin

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074
Germany

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