Technologies fly on the wings of science: Exploring the role of science in technologies’ spatial evolution

Michele Pezzoni, Reinhilde Vleugelers & Fabiana Visentin


This paper investigates how science affects the geographical evolution of technological trajectories. We define a technological trajectory as a series of inventions re-using the same technology, and we follow the geographical development of trajectories by geo-localizing inventors. Following 10,782 trajectories, we find that technologies with a high scientific content travel longer distances and are more likely to generate new inventors’ clusters than technologies with low scientific content, especially in their growth and maturity phases.

Keywords: Patents, Technological trajectories, Geographical evolution, Scientific content

JEL Classification: O30, O33

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