Severyns Ravenholt Seminar in Comparative Politics - Talk Title "The Effect of Infrastructure Legacies on Innovation"

Kevin Aslett, PhD Student UW
Friday, November 30, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Gowen Hall room 1A (Olson Room)

Abstract: Coordination failures can explain high and low levels of innovation/research and design (R & D) investment across societies, because a tipping point creates a high and low investment equilibrium. This manuscript investigates how transportation infrastructure can move this tipping point. This manuscript uses different infrastructural legacies left by the final partition of Poland (1815 to 1918) to analyze the aforementioned effect on private firms’ innovation/R & D spending across sparsely populated spaces. I use a spatial regression discontinuity on an original data-set of 145,767 European Union Structural Funds projects across Poland to test if transportation infrastructure affects where EU innovation grants are awarded. Preliminary findings support the claim that in sparsely populated areas, firms located within a more expansive transportation infrastructure engage in higher levels of innovation.