Edited by Richard Shearmu, Christophe Carrincazeaux and David Doloreux
Part II Relatedness and knowledge bases: introduction
Knowledge plays a major role in explaining the geography of innovation. Of the Marshallian externalities, knowledge externalities are the principal explanation of the local dimension of innovation. Glaeser et al. (1992, p. 1127), for instance, state in their seminal paper about growth in cities: ‘After all, intellectual breakthroughs must cross hallways and streets more easily than oceans and continents.’ This idea, that knowledge combination and diffusion is easier at the local level, has underpinned most of the 1990s literature and is generally based on the distinction between knowledge (tacit) and information (codified). However, there is now a sizeable literature on knowledge categories and learning processes (see, for example, Amin and Cohendet, 2004). Critiques of this simple binary opposition and its geographical implications (Torre and Rallet, 2005) are now widely acknowledged (Bathelt et al., 2004): knowledge flows occur at different spatial scales simultaneously and the geography of knowledge is far from being a simple articulation between local (tacit) and global (codified) forms of diffusion (Bathelt and Cohendet, 2014).
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