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Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 173–192 | Cite as

Localization of knowledge and entrepreneurs’ mobility: the case of Germany’s biotechnology industry

  • Dirk Engel
  • Oliver Heneric
Original Paper
  • 163 Downloads

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the location choice of mobile entrepreneurs for the example of Germany’s biotechnology industry. In fact, 37.5 per cent of all founders of biotech firms within a planning region immigrated from another planning regions. The results of our econometric analysis indicate that only the number of immigrated scientific entrepreneurs increases with the difference in the number of researchers as well as the amount of third-party funds acquired by public research units between the receiving and sending entity. We conclude that the size and the excellence of localized knowledge base imply a positive selection of attracted entrepreneurs.

Keywords

Entrepreneurship Mobility Biotechnology Intellectual capital Count data 

Zusammenfassung

In diesem Beitrag untersuchen wir das Standortwahlverhalten der Gründer von Biotech-Unternehmen in Deutschland. Hierzu verwenden wir Individualdaten aus dem ZEW Unternehmenspanel und aggregieren diese auf Ebene der 97 Raumordnungsregionen. Die deskriptiven Befunde geben Hinweise auf eine hohe Mobilität der Gründer: 37,5 % aller Gründer von Biotech-Unternehmen wählen einen Standort außerhalb ihrer angestammten Raumordungsregion. Ausgehend vom Gravitationsmodell schätzen wir eine empirische Spezifikation, welche den Zusammenhang zwischen der Zahl zugewanderter Gründer und dem Unterschied in der Forschungsbasis zwischen Ziel- und Herkunftsregion misst. Die Ergebnisse unserer ökonometrischen Analyse zeigen, dass die Zahl zugewanderter Gründer mit wissenschaftlichem Hintergrund zunimmt, wenn der Unterschied in der Höhe des wissenschaftlichen Personals an öffentlichen Forschungseinrichtungen zwischen Ziel- und Herkunftsregion höher ausfällt. Die Zuwanderung von Gründern ohne wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund hängt dagegen nicht von dieser Größe ab. Die Befunde deuten auf ein selektives Wanderungsverhalten hin, welches grundsätzlich die überdurchschnittliche Entwicklung von Wissensregionen (mit) erklären könnte.

JEL Classification

R30 C21 L21 O30 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to three anonymous referees who gave precise and valuable comments on an earlier version sent to Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft/Review of Regional Research. Special thanks to Georg Licht and Christoph M. Schmidt for helpful suggestions and support. The data used in this paper were made available by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences StralsundStralsundGermany
  2. 2.Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI)EssenGermany
  3. 3.Freudenberg Nonwovens (Vliesstoffe SE & Co KG)WeinheimGermany
  4. 4.Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)MannheimGermany

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