How Geographical Context Influences Knowledge Acquisition at Trade Fairs: A Structural Equation Model Approach

Authors: Yiwen Zhu*, East China Normal University, Harald Bathelt, University of Toronto
Topics: Economic Geography, Quantitative Methods, China
Keywords: trade fairs, knowledge, temporary clusters, structural equation modeling, China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Jefferson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The literature on temporary clusters has identified important knowledge acquisition process at such events, particularly at leading international trade fairs – both in developed and developing countries. However, little attention has been paid to the conditions under which knowledge acquisition takes place successfully. In particular, it is unclear which contextual variables, aside from industrial sector and firm strategy, may influence this knowledge acquisition process. This paper focuses on the geographical context conditions at the firms’ permanent locations and aims to investigate whether firms’ knowledge acquisition behavior during trade fairs varies systematically with locational conditions, such as city size, growth rate, peripherality and connectivity. This is done based on an analysis of over 200 questionnaires and interviews conducted from 2014 to 2018 at the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) in Shanghai – one of Asia’s most important manufacturing fairs. Using structural equation modelling, the paper aims to identify different, significant pathways that support successful knowledge acquisition.

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