Research has previously documented the importance of clustering to high-tech startups and industries. Now, in "The Effect of High-Tech Clusters on the Productivity of Top Inventors," a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, economist Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley, examines the role of clustering on more than four million patents in high-tech fields that were filed and granted between 1971 and 2007.
The study looks at the effects of clustering on roughly 100,000 star inventors who account for the top 10 percent of patents across three key high-tech fields: semiconductors; computer science; and biology/chemistry/medicine. Moretti tracks the concentration of high-tech patenting across 179 city-regions. He arrives at three main findings:
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