Staff members involved: Michael Storper, Jung-Won Sonn (joining department this year)
Knowledge and innovation are unevenly distributed across geographical space and have become major factors in the development of regions. Recent research has also found that geographical proximity between the actors in generating innovations may play a role in how much innovation takes place. But there is no research that shows whether the role of geographical proximity between innovators has increased over time. Using the US patent database, we are investigating changes in the role of geographical proximity from the 1970s to the present. Preliminary results show that, indeed, the role of proximity at the US metropolitan level has increased substantially. Further research will refine this result and investigate it at the sectoral and "technology field" level.