The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics
Xiamen, Fujian 361005
Institutional Affiliation: Xiamen University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2018||The Role of Transportation Speed in Facilitating High Skilled Teamwork|
with Siqi Zheng, Matthew E. Kahn: w24539
High skilled workers gain from face to face interactions. If the skilled can move at higher speeds, then knowledge diffusion and idea spillovers are likely to reach greater distances. This paper uses the construction of China’s high speed rail (HSR) network as a natural experiment to test this claim. HSR connects major cities, that feature the nation’s best universities, to secondary cities. Since bullet trains reduce cross-city commute times, they reduce the cost of face-to-face interactions between skilled workers who work in different cities. Using a data base listing research paper publication and citations, we document a complementarity effect between knowledge production and the transportation network. Co-authors’ productivity rises and more new co-author pairs emerge when seco...