Are innovative regions more unequal? A case study of Canada, 1981-2016
Innovation is a key driver of economic growth. However, an emerging body of literature has demonstrated a correlation between innovative places and highly unequal ones. This research investigates innovation as a potential driver of income inequality. Using patent data over a 30-year period, we develop a model to investigate the relationship between innovation and income inequality across Canadian regions. This research builds on previous studies of the innovation-inequality link in Europe, the United States and across Canadian cities. The paper also addresses the changing geographies of innovation in Canada (i.e., where are current key innovation clusters, how have innovation clusters changed over time) and explores newly developing patterns in the emerging green-technology sector. Given that growing income inequality is cause for concern for long-term socio-economic well-being, the talk concludes with a discussion of implications for regional economic development policies that are inclusive and promote social sustainability.