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24.09.2019 12:49

Newly published: Proximity and learning: evidence from a post-WW2 intellectual reparations program

This new article by Bode, Büstorf, and Heinisch contributes to the literature on proximity and knowledge diffusion by making use of interesting historical data on a British post-World War 2 program to detain and interrogate German industrial experts.

The results show that despite the involuntary nature of the mobility of the German experts, participation in the British program left durable traces in the subsequent patenting activities of the involved German experts. Their likelihood of interacting with UK partners increased after the detention, and their subsequent productivity as inventors exceeded that of inventors in comparable control groups. The authors conclude that cognitive proximity was more important for interactive learning than social and institutional proximity.

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Rasmus Bode, Guido Buenstorf, Dominik P Heinisch (2019), Proximity and learning: evidence from a post-WW2 intellectual reparations program, Journal of Economic Geography, online first Sept. 2019, https://doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbz023