seminari 14.04.2021 Department  -  Seminar

Thursday, may 6th,  2021
Webinar, 13.30 h

Fernando Stipanicic
PhD University of Toulose

Applied Lunch Seminar: "The diffusion of knowledge: Evidence from the Jet Age" with S. Pauly

Zoom Link


This paper studies the impact of travel time on the diffusion of knowledge. We provide causal evidence by exploiting the beginning of the Jet Age as a quasi-natural experiment. We digitize airlines' historical flight schedules and construct a novel data set of the flight network in the United States. Between 1951 and 1966, average travel time between locations more than 2,000km away decreased 49%. We use patent citations as a measure of knowledge diffusion. For research establishments located more than 2,000km away from each other, the reduction in travel time increased citations by 8.1%. The reduction in travel time accounts for more than one third of the observed increase in citations in this distance interval. Additionally, the reduction in travel time increased the diffusion of knowledge through multi-establishment firms. Firms opened research establishments in locations that obtained a relative reduction in travel time to headquarters. Firms carried knowledge across distant establishments and increased its diffusion.

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