Urban innovation and intercity patent collaboration: A network analysis of China's national innovation system

Li Yao, Jun Li, Jian Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research investigates the impact of extralocal interactions in intercity coinvention networks on innovation in cities. Adopting a social network lens, we argue that the innovation performance of a city hinges on its centrality in intercity coinvention networks, its ability to fill structural holes in these networks, and its node cohesiveness and transitivity within ego networks. Using a unique longitudinal data set of patents granted from 2001 to 2016 in China, we construct two types of networks—those involving collaborations among universities as well as research institutes (URI) and those involving industry actors only (II)—and identify six major stylized facts in regards to the formation of a complex intercity innovation network within China's national innovation system. A random-effects negative binomial regression model reveals positive effects of the degree centrality and structural holes variables on urban innovation in both URI and II networks, while a fixed-effects model suggests that the effects are only significant for II networks. Our study confirms that city innovation not only is determined by local innovative activities but also is enhanced when cities are deeply embedded in intercity innovative networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120185
Number of pages16
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume160
Early online date30 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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