Innovation Networks in Industries

Innovation Networks in Industries

Edited by Franco Malerba and Nicholas S. Vonortas

Innovation Networks in Industries provides an extensive study in the fields of industry structure, firm strategy and public policy through the use of network concepts and indicators. It also elucidates many of the complexities and challenges involved.

Chapter 7: What do you Mean by ‘Mobile’? Multi-applicant Inventors in the European Biotechnology Industry

Francesco Laforgia and Francesco Lissoni

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, industrial organisation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


7. What do you mean by “mobile”? Multi-applicant inventors in the European biotechnology industry Francesco Laforgia and Francesco Lissoni INTRODUCTION 1. Mobility of knowledge workers, such as R&D staff and other employees contributing to firms’ innovation efforts, is often pinpointed as a major factor contributing to knowledge diffusion. Starting with Arrow’s (1962) classic reference, the issue of mobility has been linked to diffusion via knowledge spillovers, a particular kind of externality that is of direct relevance for a number of phenomena, such as the correct estimation of innovation production functions (Griliches, 2000), the existence of market failures (Geroski, 1995), and the agglomeration of industries and innovative activities (Feldman, 1999). Knowledge spillovers are often referred to as “pure externalities”, as opposed to “pecuniary externalities”, which also contribute to agglomeration, but have much less impact on economic theory and policy.1 In most of the literature, mobility is interpreted as job mobility specified as, “when researchers leave a firm and take a job at another firm” (Jaffe and Trajtenberg, 1996). This kind of mobility generates a pure externality to the extent that the mobile researchers bring with themselves information, contacts and ideas that they generated or acquired while working in their previous firm. However, this is not the only mobility mechanism that can generate knowledge diffusion. Mobility also can occur when employees of one company end up working for another firm as a consequence of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), in which case the absorbing company pays for the intellectual assets acquired...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information