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Original innovation, learnt innovation and cities: evidence from UK SMEs

Lee, Neil and Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés (2013) Original innovation, learnt innovation and cities: evidence from UK SMEs. Urban Studies, 50 (9). pp. 1742-1759. ISSN 1742-1759

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Abstract

One of the key benefits of cities is that they allow the exchange of knowledge and information between economic actors. This may have two effects: it may create the conditions for entirely new innovations to emerge; and, it may allow firms to learn innovations from those nearby. Yet few studies have considered the impact of an urban location on whether innovations are original or learnt. This paper tests these hypotheses using survey evidence for over 1600 UK SMEs. It is shown that, while urban firms tend to be both product and process innovators, urban firms are disproportionately likely to introduce process innovations which are only new to the firm, rather than entirely original. Instead, the urban advantage in product innovation appears to come from a combination of the effects. The results highlight a need for a nuanced view of the link between cities and innovation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://usj.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2013 Urban Studies Journal Ltd.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Departments > Geography and Environment
Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Funders: European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, (FP7/2007-2013)
Projects: 269869
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 10:36
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50910/

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