Local Community Structures and the Novelty and Generality of Innovations Open Access

Hayward, Scott David (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/9g54xh83v?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Local Community Structures and the Novelty and Generality of Innovations
By: Scott D. Hayward
Location has become a key factor in explaining innovation and technological change.
Local inventors form communities around particular technologies and industries,
facilitating the flow of knowledge. Local knowledge flows drive inventor productivity
and give innovations a local flavor. Yet every given region houses many communities,
and a current debate pits the advantages of knowledge flowing within a local industry
against those of knowledge flowing across local industries within the same region.
While location matters for innovation, is it deep pools or diverse selections of local
knowledge which matter more? This dissertation addresses this debate by focusing on
whether an inventor's place within a broad structure of regional communities shapes
the types of innovations they create. Combining patent data with employment and
establishment data for the years 1977 through 1997, I locate inventors in technical and
industrial communities housed within different U.S. metropolitan areas. Results
suggest that local knowledge spillovers shape innovation novelty, while innovation
generality follows a different process. While prior investigations focus on local counts
of innovations, these findings advance the field by testing the logic of local knowledge
spillovers to understand the antecedents of innovation novelty and generality.
Furthermore, I introduce technical communities as a more direct measure than local
industries, providing evidence to suggest they are different concepts and should be
considered in future examinations of local innovation. This dissertation drives a
broader understanding of how location matters for innovation, with subsequent
implications for regional growth and technological development.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................... 12
1 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 16
2 TECHNICAL COMMUNITIES.................................................................................... 25
2.1 Introduction ..........................................................................................25
2.2 Technological Opportunities and Knowledge Spillovers .......................30
2.3 Local Technical Communities...............................................................33
2.4 From Innovation Counts to Innovation Novelty and Generality.............36
2.5 Local Technical Community Structure and the Characteristics of
Innovations 38
2.5.1 Community Size, Novelty and Generality .......................................38
2.5.2 Local Diversity and Novelty............................................................41
2.5.3 Size and Diversity as Moderators....................................................43
2.6 Data and Variables................................................................................45
2.6.1 Data Sources...................................................................................45
2.6.2 Geographic Units ............................................................................46
2.6.3 Data Sample: Single MA patents.....................................................50
2.6.4 Innovation Measures.......................................................................52
2.6.5 Local Community Measures............................................................55

2.7 Models and Results...............................................................................58
2.7.1 Summary Statistics..........................................................................58
2.7.2 Novelty Estimation and Results.......................................................61
2.7.3 Post Hoc Analysis...........................................................................64
2.7.4 Generality Estimation and Results...................................................66
2.7.5 Interpretation...................................................................................71
2.8 Discussion and Conclusion ...................................................................74
3 LOCAL INDUSTRY STRUCTURES........................................................................... 79
3.1 Introduction ..........................................................................................79
3.2 Local Industry Structure and the Characteristics of Innovations ............80
3.3 Data and Variables................................................................................89
3.3.1 Data Sources...................................................................................89
3.3.2 Data Sample: Single MA and Identifiable Industry Codes. ..............91
3.3.3 Innovation Measures.......................................................................94
3.3.4 Local Industry Measures .................................................................95
3.4 Models and Results...............................................................................97
3.4.1 Summary Statistics..........................................................................97
3.4.2 Novelty Estimation .......................................................................100
3.4.3 Novelty Results.............................................................................101
3.4.4 Novelty Post-Hoc Analysis ...........................................................106

3.4.5 Generality Estimation and Results.................................................107
3.5 Discussion and Conclusion .................................................................110
3.5.1 Interpretation and Reconsideration ................................................110
3.5.2 Limitations....................................................................................115
4 THE JOINT EFFECTS OF LOCAL INDUSTRY AND TECHNICAL
COMMUNITY STRUCTURES.................................................................................. 118
4.1 Introduction ........................................................................................118
4.2 Crosscutting Local Industries and Technical Communities..................120
4.3 Data and Variables..............................................................................124
4.4 Models and Results.............................................................................126
4.4.1 Novelty .........................................................................................128
4.4.2 Generality .....................................................................................132
4.5 Discussion and Conclusion .................................................................135
5 REFERENCES ........................................................................................................... 139
6 APPENDICES ............................................................................................................ 146

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