Surviving in a high-tech manufacturing industry: the role of innovative environment and proximity to metropolitan industrial portfolio

  • Alexandra TsvetkovaEmail author
  • Tessa Conroy
  • Jean-Claude Thill


Building on recent developments in the evolutionary economics combined with a more traditional spillovers perspective, we conceptualize regional knowledge environment as consisting of two components, the base and the radical knowledge. Empirically approximating the components with proximity to regional industrial portfolio and patenting intensity, respectively, we explore how a cohort of U.S. computer and electronic product manufacturing companies with different absorptive capacity levels were able to benefit from different types of knowledge available regionally. The results suggest reinforcing dynamics between proximity to metropolitan industry mix and metropolitan patenting intensity in promoting survival of non-patenting companies. Establishments that patent, on the other hand, are mostly insensitive to these two factors.


Industrial proximity Industrial cohesion Knowledge spillovers Business survival 



The work on this paper was principally completed while Alexandra Tsvetkova was at the Ohio State University; she appreciates the partial support of the USDA AFRI grant #11400612 “Maximizing the Gains of Old and New Energy Development for America’s Rural Communities”; Tessa Conroy acknowledges support provided by the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Wisconsin – Extension. The opinions expressed in this paper are solely of the authors and under no circumstances can be interpreted as reflecting the official position of the OECD and its member countries.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Spatial Productivity LaboratoryOECD Trento Centre for Local DevelopmentTrentoItaly
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.University of North Carolina – CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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