This paper investigates the fragmentation of the EU innovation system in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) by estimating the intensity and direction of knowledge spillovers over the years 1985–2010. We modify the original double exponential knowledge diffusion model proposed by Caballero and Jaffe (1993) to provide information on the degree of integration of EU countries’ RES knowledge bases and to assess how citation patterns changed over time. We show that EU RES inventors have increasingly built “on the shoulders of the other EU giants” intensifying their citations to other member countries and decreasing those to domestic inventors. Furthermore, the EU strengthened its position as source of RES knowledge for the US. Finally, we show that this pattern is peculiar to RES, with other traditional (i.e. fossil-based) energy technologies and other radically new technologies behaving differently. Our results provide suggestive, but convincing evidence that the reduction in fragmentation emerged as a result of the EU support for RES taking mainly the form of demand-pull policies.
- EU integration
- Knowledge flows
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Management of Technology and Innovation
- Renewable energy technologies
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