Related variety, unrelated variety and technological breakthroughs : an analysis of US state-level patenting

C. Castaldi, K. Frenken, B. Los

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)
597 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper investigates how variety affects the innovation output of a region. Borrowing arguments from theories of recombinant innovation, it is expected that related variety will enhance innovation as related technologies are more easily recombined into a new technology. However, it is also expected that unrelated variety enhances technological breakthroughs, since radical innovation often stems from connecting previously unrelated technologies opening up whole new functionalities and applications. Using patent data for US states in the period 1977–99 and associated citation data, evidence is found for both hypotheses. This study thus sheds a new and critical light on the related variety hypothesis in economic geography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-781
Number of pages15
JournalRegional Studies
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Related variety, unrelated variety and technological breakthroughs : an analysis of US state-level patenting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this