nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2019‒09‒30
nine papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Creativity over Time and Space By Michel Serafinelli; Guido Tabellini
  2. The Effect of High-Tech Clusters on the Productivity of Top Inventors By Moretti, Enrico
  3. Estimating regional wealth in Germany: How different are East and West really? By Kreutzmann, Ann-Kristin; Marek, Philipp; Salvati, Nicola; Schmid, Timo
  4. Cross-country evidence on the contributions of research institutions to innovation By Caroline Paunov; Martin Borowiecki; Nevine El-Mallakh
  5. Cognitive Hubs and Spatial Redistribution By Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel Sarte; Felipe Schwartzman
  6. Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) investments and technological performance: Geographic diversity and the interplay with technology alliances By Rene Belderbos; Jojo Jacob; Boris Lokshin
  7. A Test of DMPS and VIIRS Night Lights Data for Estimating GDP and Spatial Inequality for Rural and Urban Areas By John Gibson; Susan Olivia; Geua Boe-Gibson
  8. Funding Emerging Ecosystems By Paige Clayton; Maryann Feldman; Benjamin Montmartin
  9. Looking at Creativity from East to West: Risk Taking and Intrinsic Motivation in Socially and Culturally Diverse Countries By Giuseppe Attanasi; Ylenia Curci; Patrick Llerena; Adriana Carolina Pinate; Maria del Pino Ramos-Sosa; Giulia Urso

  1. By: Michel Serafinelli (University of Essex); Guido Tabellini (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Creativity is often highly concentrated in time and space, and across different domains. What explains the formation and decay of clusters of creativity? In this paper we match data on thousands of notable individuals born in Europe between the XIth and the XIXth century with historical data on city institutions and population. Our main variable of interest is the number of famous creatives (scaled to local population) born in a city during a century, but we also look at famous immigrants (based on location of death). We first document several stylized facts: famous births and immigrants are spatially concentrated and clustered across disciplines, creative clusters are persistent but less than population, and spatial mobility has remained stable over the centuries. Next, we show that the emergence of city institutions protecting economic and political freedoms and promoting local autonomy facilitates the attraction and production of creative talent.
    Keywords: innovation, agglomeration, political institutions, immigration, gravity
    JEL: R10 O10 J61 J24
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Moretti, Enrico (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: The high-tech sector is increasingly concentrated in a small number of expensive cities, with the top ten cities in "Computer Science", "Semiconductors" and "Biology and Chemistry", accounting for 70%, 79% and 59% of inventors, respectively. Why do inventors tend to locate near other inventors in the same field, despite the higher costs? I use longitudinal data on top inventors based on the universe of US patents 1971 - 2007 to quantify the productivity advantages of Silicon-Valley style clusters and their implications for the overall production of patents in the US. I relate the number of patents produced by an inventor in a year to the size of the local cluster, defined as a city x research field x year. I first study the experience of Rochester NY, whose high-tech cluster declined due to the demise of its main employer, Kodak. Due to the growth of digital photography, Kodak employment collapsed after 1996, resulting in a 49.2% decline in the size of the Rochester high-tech cluster. I test whether the change in cluster size affected the productivity of inventors outside Kodak and the photography sector. I find that between 1996 and 2007 the productivity of non-Kodak inventors in Rochester declined by 20.6% relative to inventors in other cities, conditional on inventor fixed effects. In the second part of the paper, I turn to estimates based on all the data in the sample. I find that when an inventor moves to a larger cluster she experiences significant increases in the number of patents produced and the number of citations received. Conditional on inventor, firm, and city _ year effects, the elasticity of number of patents produced with respect to cluster size is 0.0662 (0.0138). The productivity increase follows the move and there is no evidence of pre-trends. IV estimates based on the geographical structure of firms with laboratories in multiple cities are statistically similar to OLS estimates. In the final part of the paper, I use the estimated elasticity of productivity with respect to cluster size to quantify the aggregate effects of geographical agglomeration on the overall production of patents in the US. I find macroeconomic benefits of clustering for the US as a whole. In a counterfactual scenario where the quality of U.S. inventors is held constant but their geographical location is changed so that all cities have the same number of inventors in each field, inventor productivity would increase in small clusters and decline in large clusters. On net, the overall number of patents produced in the US in a year would be 11.07% smaller.
    Keywords: agglomeration, spillovers
    JEL: J01 R00
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: Kreutzmann, Ann-Kristin; Marek, Philipp; Salvati, Nicola; Schmid, Timo
    Abstract: More than 25 years after German reunification, key economic indicators for households living in eastern German regions are still below the western German levels. This particularly holds for private net wealth, which reaches only about 40% of the western German level. However, a more granular regional perspective may reveal a more diverse picture. Therefore, this study is designed to develop regional wealth indicators for the 16 federal states and for the 96 regional planning regions (Raumordnungsregionen) in Germany based on the second wave of the Panel on Household Finances (PHF) conducted by the Deutsche Bundesbank in 2014. These estimates are derived by means of a modified Fay-Herriot approach (Fay and Herriot, 1979) dealing with a) the skewness of the wealth distribution using a transformation, b) unit and item non-response, especially the multiple imputation used, and c) inconsistencies of the regional estimates with the national direct estimate. The results show that private wealth in all eastern German regions still remains far below the national average. However, the wealthiest planning regions in the east report higher private wealth figures than the western German regions with the lowest private wealth estimates. Although the paper is particularly focused on Germany, the approach proposed is applicable to surveys with a similar data structure.
    Keywords: small area estimation,non-response,multiple imputation,private wealth distribution
    JEL: C13 C83 D13
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Caroline Paunov (OECD); Martin Borowiecki (OECD); Nevine El-Mallakh (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper presents preliminary evidence on the patenting activities of 21 200 research institutions - 20 091 higher education institutions (HEIs) and 1 109 public research institutes (PRIs) - for 36 OECD countries and China from 1992 to 2014. Our evidence, which builds on a database that matches research institutions to a sample of their patent applications, indicates patent applications to the European Patent Office (EPO) filed by research institutions grew faster than industry patents. Those jointly filed by industry and research institutions grew even faster. However, research institutions’ share in patent applications remains low and their ratio of patents granted to applications is below that of industry. An econometric analysis at postal code level shows that geographical proximity to research institutions is associated with higher industry patenting. Results from an instrumental variable estimation indicate that research institutions positively influence local industry patenting, including in life sciences and digital technologies.
    Keywords: China, Higher education institutions (HEIs), innovation, local knowledge spillovers, OECD countries, patents, public research institutes (PRIs), universities
    JEL: I23 O31 O34
    Date: 2019–09–24
  5. By: Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel Sarte; Felipe Schwartzman
    Abstract: In the U.S., cognitive non-routine (CNR) occupations associated with higher wages are disproportionately represented in larger cities. To study the allocation of workers across cities, we propose and quantify a spatial equilibrium model with multiple industries that employ CNR and alternative (non-CNR) occupations. Productivity is city-industry-occupation specific and partly determined by externalities across local workers. We estimate that the productivity of CNR workers in a city depends significantly on both its share of CNR workers and total employment. Together with heterogeneous preferences for locations, these externalities imply equilibrium allocations that are not efficient. An optimal policy that benefits workers equally across occupations incentivizes the formation of cognitive hubs, leading to larger fractions of CNR workers in some of today's largest cities. At the same time, these cities become smaller to mitigate congestion effects while cities that are initially small increase in size. Large and small cities end up expanding industries in which they already concentrate, while medium-size cities tend to diversify across industries. The optimal allocation thus features transfers to non-CNR workers who move from large to small cities consistent with the implied change in the industrial composition landscape. Finally, we show that the optimal policy reinforces equilibrium trends observed since 1980. However, these trends were in part driven by low growth in real-estate productivity in CNR-abundant cities that reduced welfare.
    JEL: E23 E24 H23 H71 J61 R13 R23
    Date: 2019–09
  6. By: Rene Belderbos; Jojo Jacob; Boris Lokshin
    Abstract: Firms are increasingly operating portfolios of geographically dispersed CVC investments for accessing a variety of location-specific knowledge, often alongside traditional external knowledge-sourcing strategies such as technology alliances. We examine the conditions under which geographic diversity in corporate venture capital (CVC) investments has positive consequences for firms’ technological performance in the context of simultaneously pursued technology alliance strategies. We find that geographic diversity in CVC portfolios enhances performance as long as firms avoid knowledge redundancy in knowledge-sourcing arising from geographic overlaps with technology alliances, and the managerial complexity, coordination costs, and resource constraints stemming from the simultaneous pursuit of diversity in both technology alliances and CVC investments. Our inferences draw on a panel data set on the patents, CVC investments, and technology alliances of 55 CVC-active firms in a variety of industries.
    Keywords: CVC investments, technology alliances, technological performance
    Date: 2017–10
  7. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); Susan Olivia (University of Waikato); Geua Boe-Gibson (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Night lights, as detected by satellites, are increasingly used by economists, especially to proxy for economic activity in poor countries. Widely used data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) have several flaws; blurring, top-coding, lack of calibration, and variation in sensor amplification that impairs comparability over time and space. These flaws are not present in newer data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) that is widely used in other disciplines. Economists have been slow to switch to these better VIIRS data, perhaps because flaws in DMSP are rarely emphasized. We show the relationship between night lights and Indonesian GDP at the second sub-national level for 497 spatial units. The DMSP data are not a suitable proxy for GDP outside of cities. Within the urban sector, the lights-GDP relationship is twice as noisy using DMSP as using VIIRS. Spatial inequality is considerably understated by the DMSP data. A Pareto adjustment to correct for top-coding in DMSP data has a modest effect but still understates spatial inequality and misses much of the intra-city heterogeneity in the brightness of lights for Jakarta.
    Keywords: density; DMSP; inequality; night lights; VIIRS; Indonesia
    JEL: O15 R12
    Date: 2019–09–23
  8. By: Paige Clayton (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Maryann Feldman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Benjamin Montmartin (SKEMA Business School; Université Côte d'Azur, France)
    Abstract: Although prior research argues that location is important for firm performance, we lack an understanding of how resources accumulate in regions and how innovative ecosystems emerge and evolve over time. This paper focuses on the temporal development of an industry in a region and provides a framework for characterizing phase changes in a geographically defined entrepreneurial ecosystem. We add to the literature on entrepreneurial ecosystems by considering emergence as a temporal process and explicating finance as a mechanism that transitions between phases. Emergence is captured by the accumulation of individual entry by entrepreneurs, and punctuated by phase changes as the region accumulates resources and evolves. We use threshold regression to identify inflection points in stages of industry emergence. We then focus on the role of finance, from both public and private sources. Using a dynamic random effects probit model with regime analysis, we demonstrate interrelationships between public and private funding sources that differ over time. Finally, we estimate the relationship between the funding from various sources and firm survival within different phases using a discrete event history analysis. Our results demonstrate that public and private funding sources are complementary but with different impacts on firm survival during different phases. The results have implications for startup firms seeking funding and for policy making trying to encourage industry emergence.
    Date: 2019–09
  9. By: Giuseppe Attanasi (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France); Ylenia Curci (RECITS - FEMTO, UTBM, Belfort, France); Patrick Llerena (BETA, University of Strasbourg, France); Adriana Carolina Pinate (Department of Neuroscience Imaging, CeSI-MeT, University of G. d'Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara, Italy); Maria del Pino Ramos-Sosa (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Campus Palmas Altas, Seville, Spain); Giulia Urso (Social Sciences, Gran Sasso Science Institute, L'Aquila, Italy)
    Abstract: This article presents a mixed-methods research in the eld of creativity. By making use of experiments and a questionnaire, it analyses how creativity is aected by three factors: i) motivation, ii) individuals' attitudes towards risk and ambiguity and iii) social context. Each one of these factors has been extensively investigated in the theoretical and empirical literature getting to results still open to discussion. In particular, this research focuses on two aspects. First, we try to shed some light on the controversial ndings linking risk taking and creativity that exist in the economic and psychology literature. To do so, we test the hypotheses that self perception of creative abilities may play a role in establishing a riskcreativity positive correlation. Second, being the three factors strongly inuenced by culture, the study investigates whether the impacts on creativity may dier in diverse geographical locations. Following Attanasi et al. (2019), we exploit data from experiments performed in main cities of one eastern and one western country: Ho Chi Minh city (Vietnam) and Strasbourg (France). The information to build the risk and ambiguity factor derive from risk and ambiguity elicitation via lotteries. To account for motivation, dierent organizational scenarios are set in experimental treatments (nancial incentives vs non nancial incentives to collaborate). Finally, information on social context and self perception of creative abilities are collected through a self administrated questionnaire. In our analysis, we nd that risk aversion, social habits and leisure activities have a positive eect on the creative performance of the French participants, while for Vietnamese the intrinsic motivation and the perception of their own creative capacities are positive correlated with creative scores. Our results suggest that in a country like France, social context has a strong inuence on individual creativity, while for Vietnam individual features play a role in creativity, suggesting that the socio-cultural context has dierent impacts on creativity.
    Keywords: experiments, risk, ambiguity, self-perceived creativity, motivation, geographical location, social context
    JEL: I23 O31 O32
    Date: 2019–08

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