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The geography of collaborative knowledge production in Europe


We analyse inter-regional research collaboration as measured by scientific publications and patents with multiple addresses, covering 1316 NUTS3 regions in 29 European countries. The estimates of gravity equations show the effects of geographical and institutional distance on research collaboration. We also find evidence for the existence of elite structures between excellence regions and between capital regions. The results suggest that current EU science policy to stimulate research collaboration is legitimate, but doubt the compatibility between EU science policy and EU cohesion policy.


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We thank the Netherlands Institute for Spatial Research (RPB) for financial support, Hans van Amsterdam, Stephaan DeClerck and Joep van Vliet for their research assistance, and Martijn Burger, Harry Garretsen, Gaston Heimeriks, Mario Maggioni, Roderik Ponds, Gusta Renes, Jan Schuur, Erika Uberti, Eleftheria Vasileiadou and two anonymous referees for helpful comments. All errors remain ours.

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Correspondence to Jarno Hoekman.

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Open Access This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Hoekman, J., Frenken, K. & van Oort, F. The geography of collaborative knowledge production in Europe. Ann Reg Sci 43, 721–738 (2009).

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  • R12