In economic geography, an overflow, or spreading, of information from elsewhere, whereby ‘the mysteries of the trade become no mysteries, but are as it were in the air’ (A. Marshall1920), such as spillovers as that between university research and development, and firms (although Boders (2004) J. Econ. Geog. 4 reports that only regions with low R&D density benefit from interregional spillovers). Knowledge spillovers mean that firms can acquire knowledge and information created by others through expenditure on industrial R&D without paying for it. Movements of labour between firms, informal contacts, business meetings, close customer–producer relations, and face-to-face contacts are all mechanisms fostering spillovers; see Engelkstoft et al. (2006) Papers Reg. Sci. 85, 1. Adams (2002) J. Econ. Geog. 2 finds that academic spillovers are more localized than industrial spillovers. See proximity.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.