The transfer of knowledge flows: hampered by the geographical distance

[Deutscher Titel: Der Austausch von Wissensflüssen: behindert durch geographische Distanz?]

J. Rosa & P. Mohnen
Knowledge Transfers between Canadian Business Enterprises and Universities: Does Distance Matter?
Maastricht: UNU-MERIT (UNU-MERIT Working Papers, #2008-017), 2008

Abstract: This study examines whether the transfer of knowledge flows from universities to enterprises in Canada is hampered by the geographical distance that separates them. The transfer of knowledge flows are measured by the amount of R&D payments from business enterprises to universities that are directly reported in Statistics Canada’s survey on Research and Development in Canadian Industry. We use data from the 1997 to 2001 surveys. 
After controlling for unobserved individual heterogeneity, selection bias as well as for other covariates that could affect the extent of industry-university R&D transactions such as absorptive capacity, foreign control, belonging to the same province, past experience with a given university and other firm and university characteristics, it is found that a 10% increase in distance decreases the proportion of total R&D paid to a university by 1.4 percent for enterprises that do not report any codified transfer of knowledge flow, and by half as much for enterprises that report codified knowledge flows. 
Keywords: knowledge transfer, university/enterprise, codified/tacit, spatial proximity
Read the full working paper online.  

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