Secondary city invention: internal resources versus agglomeration allures

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1 Scopus citations


Empirical investigations of the geography of invention, especially regional knowledge production functions, attempt to pinpoint determinants of patenting intensity. They depict organizations reflexively locating their assets in response to place-based attributes. The inordinate concentration of patent generation in large metropolitan areas amplifies this perspective. However, organizational formation, patenting behaviours, and general economic development evolve from long-run endogenous processes that challenge causal modelling. A research design that reassesses the relationships between the access to and use of internal and external resources and invention intensity is employed. The focus is on secondary metropolitan areas exhibiting a variety of dominant organizational forms and functional integration with larger population centres. Results suggest that integration within large population centres positively correlates with invention intensity. In geographically detached places, engagement by technologically sophisticated corporate champions associates with higher invention rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1031
Number of pages17
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • company towns
  • individual inventors
  • location
  • patents
  • small cities
  • university towns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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