Room 1037, 690 Building Is the importance of global cities something new in the world or it was always there? In this paper, I unfold the historical transmission of knowledge between the [...]
Room 1037, 690 Building
Is the importance of global cities something new in the world or it was always there? In this paper, I unfold the historical transmission of knowledge between the global city of Paris and the rest of the country. I adopt the historical rollout of French railroad to explore the effect of rail access on innovation activity at the commune level. Well connected communes with the global city of Paris witness an increase in their number of patents the decade the railroad establishes. I enforce my initial results using an instrumental variable approach to take into account the potential endogeneity problem. I find that a decrease in the travel time of any commune to Paris is associated with a higher increase in the number of patents. By excluding the big urban centers, my results remain significant which means that the diffusion process is partially driven from the small communes. I test two potential theoretical channels related to easier access to Paris that could affect the innovation activity of the communes. I use a recently released historical rail database of Mimeur et al. (2018) combined with the historical patent database of INPI for France.
Georgios Tsiachtsiras (Universitat de Barcelona)
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona
Avda. Diagonal 690, Barcelona