This month's featured article
Localisation in Knowledge-Creating Activities: Evidence from Japanese patent data
INOUE Hiroyasu Osaka Sangyo University
NAKAJIMA Kentaro Tohoku University
SAITO YukikoSenior Fellow, RIETI
Knowledge spillovers are a crucial ingredient for knowledge creation, which is one of the major drivers of the growth of modern economies. Since Marshall (1890), it has been well recognised that geographical proximity enhances knowledge spillovers and idea exchanges, which causes urban agglomeration (e.g. Davis and Dingel 2012). Japan and many European countries have been implementing an industrial cluster policy, a set of measures to promote the formation of industrial clusters, in an attempt to induce innovation through the closer geographical proximity of businesses.
It has been pointed out that collaborations enhance the knowledge spillovers between organisations with different knowledge stocks, which facilitates great innovations (e.g. Berliant and Fujita 2008). In Inoue et al. (2013), we analysed establishment-level collaboration relationships in patent inventions in Japan, and found that collaboration relationships are significantly localised. Furthermore, this tendency of geographic clustering hardly changed between 1985 and 2005 despite the vast development of information and communications technology (ICT) during this period. These imply that geographic distance significantly impedes collaboration and has not been overcome even with the development of ICT.
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