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Megalopolitan glocalization: the evolving relational economic geography of intercity knowledge linkages within and beyond China’s Yangtze River Delta region, 2004-2014

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We develop the relational economic geographical potential of the incubator and hinge functions of megalopolis incorporating ideas from the literature on regional innovation systems and New Argonaut connections respectively. Empirically, we investigate how China’s Yangtze River Delta (YRD) has incubated but also articulated knowledge interactions at different geographical scales. Drawing upon co-patent data from the World Intellectual Property Organization database, we show that the YRD’s knowledge hinge role has strengthened over time, notably as a result of the role played by economic entities in Shanghai – the YRD’s gateway city. To unpack the YRD’s knowledge hinge role, we use information attached to co-patents to distinguish different channels – multinational enterprises, Chinese domestic enterprises, universities and research institutes, and “New Argonaut” linkages – by which YRD cities have accessed exogenous knowledge at different geographical scales. In conclusion we highlight the value of megalopolis as a meso-scale unit of analysis for relational economic geography.
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Keywords: Knowledge collaboration; gateway; incubator; patent; urban network

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Architecture, Southeast University, Nanjing, China 2: Melbourne School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: October 21, 2019

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