Grafström, J. (in press). International knowledge spillovers in the wind power industry: evidence from the European Union. Economics of Innovation and New Technology. DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2017.1328778

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the presence of international knowledge spillovers in the wind power sector. Specifically, the paper investigates whether successful invention efforts in one country, measured by way of granted wind power patent counts, have had positive effects on the neighboring countries’ abilities to generate patents of the same category. Data on the number of patents granted at the European Patent Office during the period 1978–2008 are used for the eight national technological leaders in the western European wind power sector. The few comprehensive wind power studies that exist have only found limited evidence of international knowledge spillovers. However, in this paper, we find that international spillovers are statistically significant determinants of a country’s wind power patenting outcomes. Geographical distance is also taken into consideration, and the knowledge spillover effects are shown to become stronger with decreases in this distance. The results should have important policy implications, for example, for a national government when it comes to applying an investment strategy in wind power or, alternatively, free-riding on other countries’ invention efforts.