Why are Some Regions More Innovative than Others? The Role of Firm Size Diversity
NBER Working Paper No. 17793
Large labs may spawn spin-outs caused by innovations deemed unrelated to the firm's overall business. Small labs generate demand for specialized services that lower entry costs for others. We develop a theoretical framework to study the interplay of these two localized externalities and their impact on regional innovation. We examine MSA-level patent data during the period 1975-2000 and find that innovation output is higher where large and small labs coexist. The finding is robust to across-region as well as within-region analysis, IV analysis, and the effect is stronger in certain subsamples consistent with our explanation but not the plausible alternatives.
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This paper was revised on August 20, 2014
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17793
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