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Paolo ZACCHIA (IMT School for Advanced Studies) – "The Long Run Effects of R&D Place-based Policies: Evidence from Russian Science Cities" (Polytechnique Recruitment) Avec Helena SCHWEIGER et Alexander STEPANOV
Time: 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Date: JANUARY 24, 2019
Place: Room 3001
Paolo ZACCHIA (IMT School for Advanced Studies) – “The Long Run Effects of R&D Place-based Policies: Evidence from Russian Science Cities” (Polytechnique Recruitment) Avec Helena SCHWEIGER et Alexander STEPANOV
We study the long-run effects of historical place-based policies targeting R&D: the creation of Science Cities in former Soviet Russia. The establishment of Science Cities was conducted in secret and the criteria for selecting their location were driven by military and strategic considerations. We compare the current demographic and economic characteristics of Science Cities with those of appropriately matched localities that were historically similar to them. We find that in the modern Russian economy, despite the massive cuts in government support to R&D that followed the dissolution of the USSR, Science Cities host more highly skilled workers and more developed R&D and ICT sectors; they are the origin of more international patents; and they generally appear to be more productive and economically developed. Within a spatial equilibrium framework, we interpret these findings as the result of the interaction between agglomeration economies and path-dependence forces. In addition, we rule out alternative explanations about the differential use of public resources, and we find limited support for a case of equilibrium reversion. Lastly, by analyzing firm-level data we obtain evidence in favor of spillover effects with a wide spatial breadth.