Emerging Tech

Breakthrough Inventions And Migrating Clusters Of Innovation

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Executive Summary

The authors investigate the speed at which clusters of invention for a technology migrate spatially following breakthrough inventions. They identify breakthrough inventions as the top one percent of US inventions for a technology during 1975-1984 in terms of subsequent citations. Patenting growth is significantly higher in cities and technologies where breakthrough inventions occur after 1984 relative to peer locations that do not experience breakthrough inventions. This growth differential in turn depends on the mobility of the technology's labor force, which they model through the extent that technologies depend upon immigrant scientists and engineers.

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