Edited by Richard Shearmu, Christophe Carrincazeaux and David Doloreux
Part VII Local impacts of innovation: introduction
Literature on the geography of innovation has almost exclusively dealt with questions that pertain to where innovation occurs. A wide variety of such questions have been asked: what are the local factors and institutions that are conducive to innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? What is the extent of local innovation-related spillovers? Which cities patent, in which technological classes? Where do creative people – understood as initiators of innovation – choose to live? Where do scientist travel to and exchange ideas? Far more rarely have questions been asked that focus on the local impact of innovation. It has been assumed – not only by researchers but by policymakers – that innovation is desirable, and that, to the extent it occurs in a locality, it will benefit that locality. This assumption rests loosely on ideas derived from endogenous growth theory, that is, the idea that economic growth is driven by innovation (which is endogenous to the economic system), and that, furthermore, economic growth is beneficial to society at large.
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