Chapter 27: Urban bias in innovation studies
Restricted access

Innovation is assumed by many analysts to be intimately connected with cities and with clusters of economic activity. The geography of innovation – as an area of study – does not seriously examine innovation by isolated firms or in remote areas, which it considers atypical. In this chapter I argue that the evidence upon which this assumption is based is biased towards identifying innovation in clusters and urban areas, and that innovation theory contributes to this bias. I outline a theory that accounts for innovation both in urban and in remote areas, and which also accounts for the decline of many remote regions. This theory rests upon distinguishing initial firm-level innovation (that occurs similarly in urban and remote areas, as an increasing body of evidence shows) from subsequent growth and innovation diffusion (that often requires the market access and resources that cities provide). Evidence is presented that corroborates certain aspects of this theory. The chapter’s central argument is that once urban bias is overcome the geography of innovation can abandon some of its inhibiting assumptions and move in new directions.

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

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account
Reference & Dictionaries