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Department of Statistics, UCLA

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Clustering in the biotechnology industry


This study uses Poisson regression techniques to analyse the location of biotechnology companies throughout the USA. Three hypotheses are considered: that firms locate in population centres in order to attract workers, that they locate near colleges and universities where potential workers are likely to be better educated, and that they locate in close proximity to research-oriented universities and institutes because high-technology firms frequently spin-off from these research centres. We find that clusters do tend to be located near population centres colleges and universities but the influence of research-based universities is particularly striking. This highlights a powerful policy instrument for regions hoping to promote high-tech industrial clusters: the creation and maintenance of a first-rate research-oriented university. While these ideas have been suggested in the past, our approach to defining, measuring, and analysing these variables provides new insights into their significance, and also suggests avenues for future research.

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