This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Urban Economics.
Drivers of differences in inventiveness across urban and rural regions, by Giri Raj Aryal, John Mann, Scott Loveridge & Satish Joshi
ThiHeterogeneity of inventiveness across urban, metro-adjacent rural and remote rural counties is analyzed using a spatial autoregressive negative binomial regression model, taking into account spatial spillover effects, the count nature of patenting, creative class population, industry characteristics and other regional factors influencing innovation creation. Results indicate that key drivers of invention—namely presence of universities, share of creative arts related occupations and professional services, access to cell phone services, the diversity of high industries, and share of foreign-born population—are common across county types. However, their marginal effects often vary by county type, e.g., diversity of high-tech industries and cell phone access have relatively higher marginal effects in metro-adjacent rural areas than urban counties. These innovation drivers also have statistically significant spatial spillover effects on patent output in neighboring counties. Urban inventive advantage persists even after controlling for variation in levels of key drivers of innovation. The estimated marginal and spillover effects in rural counties suggest that policies promoting technological diversity and communication infrastructure in rural counties can be effective in mitigating the urban–rural innovation gap.