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Networks, geography and the survival of the firm

Journal article
Authors Mark Bagley
Published in Journal of Evolutionary Economics
ISSN 0936-9937
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)
Language en
Subject categories Economics


Prior studies show that the success of firms in industrial clusters is the result of two main reasons; the transfer of knowledge and routines from parent firms to spinoffs that locate in the same locality, and the returns from co-location of firms. While previous research has largely inferred the presence of parent-spinoff networks, few studies have measured them. Furthermore, the lack of geographic precision has led to conflicting results for evidence of returns from location, as the gains from geographic proximity may not always be linear. This paper introduces network measurement and a refined geographic measure to separate these two respective channels of knowledge transfer, and analyzes their impact on firm survival (as a proxy for firm success). It is found that the gains with respect to location are nonlinear. Furthermore, a firm’s historical links formed through parent-spinoff linkages have a significant impact on survival, which differ depending on the motivations of the entrepreneur. Moreover, these channels of knowledge are complementary in nature.

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