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- ISSN :
- 1815-1965 (online)
- DOI :
The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.
The Geography of Inventive Activities in OECD Regions
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- Stefano Usai1
- Author Affiliations
- 1: University of Cagliari, Italy
- 01 Dec 2008
- Bibliographic information
This work reflects an initial analysis employing a pioneering new OECD database; it is among the first systematic attempts to analyse comparatively the distribution of innovative activity across regions in OECD economies with a set of homogenous measures for both input and output in the process of knowledge production and dissemination. The descriptive analysis shows that there are important differences in the inventive performance of regions in OECD economies, as measured by indicators for one of the key types of intellectual assets (i.e., patents). Inventive performance is concentrated in some regions in continental Europe, in North America and Japan. Highly inventive regions tend to cluster together. This spatial dependence is found to have increased over time. The inventive performance of regions is directly influenced by the availability of human capital and R&D expenditure. Local agglomeration factors (proxied by the density of population) are also found to have a significant impact while some negative effects appear when regions are mainly rural or when they are mainly service-oriented. Cross-country differences point to the importance of national innovation systems which shape the institutional framework within which innovation takes form and diffuses.