Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 17: Spatial Inventor Networks As Studied by Patent Coinventorship

Olof Ejermo () and Charlie Karlsson ()
Additional contact information
Olof Ejermo: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm Sweden and , Jönköping International Business School/Internationella Handelshögskolan i Jönköping AB, P.O. Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping, Sweden
Charlie Karlsson: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm Sweden and , Jönköping International Business School/Internationella Handelshögskolan i Jönköping AB, P.O. Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping, Sweden

Abstract: We study the structure of the spatial inventor networks in Sweden by examining the residence of inventors and coinventors in Swedish patent applications to the European Patent Office. Several factors are found to influence the spatial affinity. We find that spatial affinity is strongly influenced by the general size of the nodes, as measured by population. In addition, affinities are strongly influenced by distance, but different technologies responded differently to distance. The most distance-sensitive technology, i.e. with the highest agglomeration of coinventors, was almost three times as sensitive to distance as the least sensitive. Interestingly, "Information technology" was the least distance-sensitive technology, which would be in line with predictions of "the death of distance". Higher affinity was also registered for many technologies when more university researchers were employed in one of the regions. Hence, a technology division is appropriate for understanding the span of innovation networks over regions, and how these could develop in response to policy initiatives.

Keywords: Inventor networks; localization; patents; Sweden; affinity

JEL-codes: O31; O32; R12

58 pages, November 29, 2004

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