Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Knowledge spillovers and total factor productivity. Evidence using a spatial panel data model

Fischer, Manfred M. and Scherngell, Thomas and Reismann, Martin (2008): Knowledge spillovers and total factor productivity. Evidence using a spatial panel data model. Published in: Geographical Analysis , Vol. 41, No. 2 (2009): pp. 204-220.


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This paper investigates the impact of knowledge capital stocks on total factor productivity through the lens of the knowledge capital model proposed by Griliches (1979), augmented with a spatially discounted cross-region knowledge spillover pool variable. The objective is to shift attention from firms and industries to regions and to estimate the impact of cross-region knowledge spillovers on total factor productivity (TFP) in Europe. The dependent variable is the region-level TFP, measured in terms of the superlative TFP index suggested by Caves, Christensen and Diewert (1982). This index describes how efficiently each region transforms physical capital and labour into output. The explanatory variables are internal and out-of-region stocks of knowledge, the latter capturing the contribution of cross-region knowledge spillovers. We construct patent stocks to proxy regional knowledge capital stocks for N=203 regions over the 1997- 2002 time period. In estimating the effects we implement a spatial panel data model that controls for the spatial autocorrelation due to neighbouring regions and the individual heterogeneity across regions. The findings provide a fairly remarkable confirmation of the role of knowledge capital contributing to productivity differences among regions, and add an important spatial dimension to the discussion, by showing that productivity

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