Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2014/15: How Important are Local Inventive Milieus: The role of Birthplace, High School and University Education

Olof Ejermo () and Høgni Kalsø Hansen ()
Additional contact information
Olof Ejermo: CIRCLE, Lund University
Høgni Kalsø Hansen: Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Geography Section, University of Copenhagen

Abstract: Using the whole population and almost all individuals in Sweden listed as inventors, we study how the probability of being listed on a patent as inventor is influenced by the density of other future inventors residing in the same region, while controlling for demographic and sector effects along with the educational characteristics of parents. We focus on three such densities: a) future inventors in the municipality around the time of birth, b) future inventors around the time of graduation from high school and c) future inventors at graduation from higher education. We find suggestive evidence that co-locating with future inventors impact on the probability of becoming an inventor in some cases. The most consistent of these effects is found for place of higher education, with some positive effects also most likely coming from birthplace, whereas no consistent positive effect is found from the individuals’ high school location. Formative influences to become an inventor therefore seem mainly to derive from family upbringing, birth region and from local milieu effects derived from conscious choices into higher education.

Keywords: inventor; time-space; regional unevenness; context; local milieu

JEL-codes: I21; J24; O18; O31; O33; R12; Y91

23 pages, September 9, 2014

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201415_Ejermo_Hansen.pdf PDF-file 

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