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Innovative Places in Europe

Research Clustering, Co-Patenting Networks and the Growth of Regions


Julian Phillip Christ

Regional disparities and spatial clustering are ubiquitous in today’s world. This study contributes with empirical findings on the distribution of European research and patenting activity since the 1980s at the regional level. Besides a general theoretical part, it offers a quantitative clustering analysis, which makes use of EPO patent applications and a harmonized regional and technological classification. Moreover, the pan-European study incorporates a structural analysis of inter-regional co-patenting networks at the regional and technological level that covers the 1990s and 2000s. Finally, European regional income and growth disparities are addressed by placing emphasis on the spatial distribution of research activity and the regional settlement structure.


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I want to express my deep gratitude to my first supervisor, Prof. Dr. Harald Hagemann (University of Hohenheim), and my second supervisor, Prof. Dr. Jochen Streb (University of Mannheim), whose critical comments, encouragement and guidance were of significant importance to me throughout my doctoral studies. I am also grateful to Prof. Dr. Andreas Pyka (University of Hohenheim) for his fruitful comments and advice and for chairing my thesis committee. During my doctoral studies, I benefited from several PhD courses, conferences and research seminars which significantly supported and influenced my research ambitions. I thank the participants of the First Graz Schumpeter Summer School 2007 (University of Graz), the participants of the Max Planck evolutionary economics PhD workshop 2008 (Jena), the participants of the ESSID 2008 PhD course (Monte St. Ange´lo, Italy), the participants of the International PhD course on economic geography 2010 (University of Utrecht), the participants of the Zvi Griliches research conference 2010 (Barcelona Graduate School of Economics), to name but a few. Moreover, the participants of the FZID PhD workshops and the PhD seminars of the economics department at the University of Hohenheim are gratefully acknowledged for valuable comments and critical discussions. Furthermore, I owe many thanks to my colleagues at the economics department for their encouragement and for giving me their friendship: Dr. Constanze Dobler, Patricia Hofmann, Ralf Rukwid, Arash Molavi Vasse´i, Niels Geiger, Johannes Schwarzer, Larissa Talmon-Gros, Dr. Felix Geiger, Oliver Sauter, Lukas Scheffknecht, Dr. Tobias Bo¨rger, Martin Lempe....

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