Smart City policies have attracted relevant attention and funding over the last few years. While the time seems now ripe to conclude that such policies have a positive impact on urban economic growth, the picture is much less clear when looking at the microfoundations of this effect. In this paper we look at the urban innovation impact of Smart City policies. In fact, typical Smart City projects imply the involvement not only of major multinational corporations, along with local public authorities, but also of local companies, typically with the aim to translate general technological solutions to the local needs. A new data set collected for these analyses comprises data on Smart City features for 309 European metropolitan areas, Smart City policy intensity, and urban innovation outputs. The latter are proxied by calculating total patent applications to the European Patent Office between 2008 and 2013. Patent counts also include technologically narrower classes, namely high-tech, ICT, and specific Smart City technologies patent applications. Propensity Score Matching estimates suggest that cities engaging in Smart City policies above the EU average also tend to patent more intensively. This effect is stronger for high-tech patents, while decreases for more narrowly defined technological classes. This last result suggests possible technological spillovers from technologies directly involved in Smart City policies.

Smart innovative cities: The impact of Smart City policies on urban innovation

Caragliu, Andrea;Del Bo, Chiara F.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Smart City policies have attracted relevant attention and funding over the last few years. While the time seems now ripe to conclude that such policies have a positive impact on urban economic growth, the picture is much less clear when looking at the microfoundations of this effect. In this paper we look at the urban innovation impact of Smart City policies. In fact, typical Smart City projects imply the involvement not only of major multinational corporations, along with local public authorities, but also of local companies, typically with the aim to translate general technological solutions to the local needs. A new data set collected for these analyses comprises data on Smart City features for 309 European metropolitan areas, Smart City policy intensity, and urban innovation outputs. The latter are proxied by calculating total patent applications to the European Patent Office between 2008 and 2013. Patent counts also include technologically narrower classes, namely high-tech, ICT, and specific Smart City technologies patent applications. Propensity Score Matching estimates suggest that cities engaging in Smart City policies above the EU average also tend to patent more intensively. This effect is stronger for high-tech patents, while decreases for more narrowly defined technological classes. This last result suggests possible technological spillovers from technologies directly involved in Smart City policies.
2019
Smart City
Program evaluation
Propensity score matching
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1086696
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