Local Advantage in a Global Context
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 14: Imports, R & D and Local Patent Production
14. Imports, R&D and local patent production Urban Gråsjö The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the effects of national and international knowledge flows on innovative activity. Therefore a knowledge production function is estimated with patent applications in Swedish municipalities as the measure of innovation. The knowledge resources applied are R&D investments and high-valued imports. In order to account for the importance of proximity, the knowledge resources are expressed as accessibilities. The total accessibility of a municipality is decomposed into local, intraregional and interregional accessibility. The main results indicate that knowledge resources in a given municipality tend to have a positive effect on the innovative activity of another municipality, given that the municipalities belong to the same functional region. Thus the results of the analysis indicate that knowledge flows transcend municipal borders, but that they tend to be bounded within functional regions. This result holds for both R&D investments and high-valued import products. 14.1 INTRODUCTION Knowledge is a key concept in today’s society, and it is easy to understand why. One explanation is that investments in knowledge, e.g. education, and research and development (R&D), are assumed to be very important for the promotion of economic growth. To thoroughly explain what factors are significant in the knowledge production process is therefore fundamental. A basic feature of economic activities is their tendency to be concentrated geographically, which is particularly true for activities related to knowledge production. In some regions knowledge production is strongly represented, while other...
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