Culture and knowledge spillovers in Europe: new perspectives for innovation and convergence policies?
Using European patent citations, we examine the geography of knowledge flows within Europe. We aim at analysing whether technologies flow more rapidly among countries that share similar economic, geographic, technological or cultural characteristics. The specificity of our approach consists in integrating indicators of culture and cultural similarity. The empirical results suggest that cultural distance has only a mitigated and moderate impact in comparison with other proximities. On the contrary, cultural belonging is shown to influence the geography of knowledge flows and innovation. More precisely, if some populations develop thanks to external knowledge exploitation, others rather explore internal new ideas and knowledge. In such a differentiated context (we find three types of culture), the efficiency of innovative policy seems to be culturally dependent.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2004