In this study, we leverage on the ancient Roman roads network as a source of exogenous variation to identify the causal effect of the modern highways network on innovative performance of Italian NUTS‐3 regions. Empirical findings suggest that a 10% increase in the highways stock in a region generates an increase in the number of patents of about 3%–4%, over a 5‐year period. Further analysis suggests that our findings can in part be explained by a reduction in travel costs that fosters collaborations among inventors living in different regions and by an increase in the degree of centrality in the regional innovation network associated to denser highways networks. Finally, we find that the innovation‐enhancing effect of highways declines over time, possibly because of the introduction of information and communication technology, or the increasing congestion on the Italian network.

Roads to Innovation: Evidence from Italy

Bottasso, Anna;Conti, Maurizio;Robbiano, Simone;Santagata, Marta
2022-01-01

Abstract

In this study, we leverage on the ancient Roman roads network as a source of exogenous variation to identify the causal effect of the modern highways network on innovative performance of Italian NUTS‐3 regions. Empirical findings suggest that a 10% increase in the highways stock in a region generates an increase in the number of patents of about 3%–4%, over a 5‐year period. Further analysis suggests that our findings can in part be explained by a reduction in travel costs that fosters collaborations among inventors living in different regions and by an increase in the degree of centrality in the regional innovation network associated to denser highways networks. Finally, we find that the innovation‐enhancing effect of highways declines over time, possibly because of the introduction of information and communication technology, or the increasing congestion on the Italian network.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Journal of Regional Science - 2022 - Bottasso - Roads to innovation Evidence from Italy.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Documento in versione editoriale
Dimensione 2.14 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.14 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Roads_to_Innovation_JORS-21-189_Appendix.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Appendice
Tipologia: Altro materiale allegato
Dimensione 701.29 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
701.29 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Roads_to _innovation_JORS-21-189_Appendix_Tables.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Tabelle in Appendice
Tipologia: Altro materiale allegato
Dimensione 136.28 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
136.28 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1070528
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact