Network density and R&D spillovers

Kieron Meagher, Mark Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper models how the structure and function of a network of firms affects their aggregate innovativeness. Each firm has the potential to innovate, either from in-house R&D or from innovation spillovers from neighboring firms. The nature of innovation spillovers depends upon network density, the commonality of knowledge between firms, and the learning capability of firms. Innovation spillovers are modelled in detail using ideas from organizational theory. Two main results emerge: (i) the marginal effect on innovativeness of spillover intensity is non-monotonic, and (ii) network density can affect innovativeness but only when there are heterogeneous firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-260
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue number2
Early online date27 Nov 2003
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • spillovers
  • innovation
  • networks
  • heterogeneity
  • information processing


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