The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 158–183 | Cite as

The role of Science Parks: a puzzle of growth, innovation and R&D investments

  • Francesco LampertiEmail author
  • Roberto Mavilia
  • Simona Castellini


This paper investigates the impact of Science Parks on growth and innovativeness of affiliated firms. Both the role and the effectiveness of these policy instruments in sustaining tenants’ performances are still open issues. We rely on unique Italian data and compare the performance of firms located within a park with a control sample of off-park firms. Firstly, we focus on the estimation of the treatment effect of being located within the park. Our results show a significant difference between on and off park firms with respect to their innovativeness and propensity to invest in R&D; to the contrary, firms’ growth appears unaffected by location effects. Secondly, we analyse what features of Science Parks drive the impact on the diverse measures of performance. Our main finding is that both patenting activity and R&D investments are actively sustained by the presence and quantity of research centres within the park. Growth remains a largely unexplained phenomenon and Gibrat law is found to hold robustly within the class of on-park firms.


Science Parks Innovation Growth R&D investments 

JEL Classification

D22 O30 L25 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Lamperti
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Roberto Mavilia
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Simona Castellini
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of EconomicsScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly
  2. 2.CRIOS - Bocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  3. 3.MEDAlics, Research Centre for the Mediterranean RelationsReggio CalabriaItaly
  4. 4.University for Foreigners “Dante Alighieri”Reggio CalabriaItaly

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