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 37: Accessibility to R&D and Patent Production

Urban Gråsjö ()
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Urban Gråsjö: Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden and University of Trollhättan/Uddevalla., Postal: P.O. Box 795, SE-451 26 Uddevalla, Sweden, Sweden

Abstract: The main purpose in this paper is to study to what extent accessibility to R&D can explain patent production. Therefore a knowledge production function is estimated both on aggregated level and for different industrial sectors. The output of the knowledge production is the number patent applications in Swedish municipalities from 1994 to 1999. In order to account for the importance of proximity, the explanatory variables are expressed as accessibilities to university and company R&D. The total accessibility is then decomposed into local, intra-regional and inter-regional accessibility to R&D. As often is the case with R&D outputs, the regional distribution of patents is highly skewed with influential outliers. The estimations are therefore conducted with quantile regressions. The main results on aggregated level indicate that high accessibility (local) to company R&D has the greatest positive effects on patent production. The effects are statistically significant for municipalities with a patent production corresponding to the median and to quantiles above the median. Local accessibility to university R&D is only of importance for certain industrial sectors and not on aggregated level. There is also evidence that intra-regional accessibility to company R&D affects patent production positively. A conclusion is that concentrated R&D investments in companies situated in municipalities with a high patenting activity would not only gain the municipalities themselves, but also the patent production in other municipalities in the functional region.

Keywords: innovations; patents; R&D; knowledge production functions

JEL-codes: C30; O31; O33; O34

35 pages, August 12, 2005

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