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

Lee, Neil and Rodriguez-Pose, Andres (2013) Original innovation, learnt innovation and cities:evidence from UK SMEs. Urban Studies, 50 (9). pp. 1742-1759. ISSN 0042-0980

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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:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Urban Studies
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“The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Urban Studies, 50 (9), 2013, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2013 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Urban Studies page: http://usj.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/
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Deposited On:
27 Nov 2012 13:15
Last Modified:
28 May 2023 02:03