PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (5): 745-755.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.05.011

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Does genetic difference influence inter-region technology transfer?Evidence from China’s provincial-level patent transfer data of 2001-2005

Chaofeng QIAN1,2(), Debin DU1,2,*(), Xuan HU1,2, Dezhong DUAN1,2   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2018-12-11 Revised:2019-01-14 Online:2019-05-28 Published:2019-05-28
  • Contact: Debin DU;
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. XDA20100311


Technology transfer is an important means to promote coordinated regional development and efficient allocation of innovative resources. Patent transfer is a major part of China's technology transfer trading market, but the mechanism behind it has not been fully explained. By using the existing genetic distance estimation method and the widely recognized Han population genetic data, this study explored the mechanism of cross-regional patent transfer from the perspective of genetic differences. By mining the patent transfer data of the Patent Search Platform of the State Intellectual Property Office and combining with other economic geographic data, we conducted a quantitative research on whether genetic distance has affected inter-provincial patent transfer. Considering the principle of "same-sex repelling and opposite-sex attracting," a model was constructed from the perspective of technical competition. Results of the regression analyses of the panel data show that the farther the genetic distance is, the more likely it is to have inter-regional patent transfers. In general, for one-standard-deviation rise of genetic differences between two provinces, the number of patent transfers between them increased by 9.8%. The results have undergone several robustness tests and the spatial differences also have been considered. This study highlights the importance of genetic diversity for human society, and suggests that policies should relax migration and settlement restrictions and encourage inter-regional exchanges and integration.

Key words: patent transfer, innovation geography, genetic difference, spatial differentiation, genetic diversity, China