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Industry and Innovation

Agglomeration and Innovation of Knowledge Intensive Business Services

Journal Article
Kekezi, Orsa and Johan Klaesson (2020). “Agglomeration and Innovation of Knowledge Intensive Business Services”. Industry and Innovation 27(5), 538–561.

Orsa Kekezi, Johan Klaesson

For some time now, the research focusing on Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) has been very active. Observing that knowledge as a production factor is only becoming more and more pronounced, this focus is well-grounded. It is therefore important to examine how these knowledge-hubs gain and propagate their knowledge. We hypothesize that KIBS (as many other sectors) benefit from intra-industry knowledge spillovers facilitated by geographical concentration. Our focus is the innovative capacity of KIBS, which we measure through trademarks registered by KIBS firms. While there may be several mechanisms facilitating knowledge spillovers, we can identify local intra-sectoral labor mobility as one. Accessibility measures are used to assess the geographical attenuation of the spillover effects. Results show that the distance decay of spillovers is fast. Only local concentrations of KIBS seem to be of importance. Over longer distances, we instead observe negative consequences for trademarking, indicating possible spatial competition effects.